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Ex Uhris 




B Ohma Fitch Butlbr. Ph.D.. '07 I 

by Google 


by Google 

by Google 

by Google 

*'I never dreamed that I'd come to be skipper of a coal-hod." 
fflge 122. Partntrs of tkt 7 id»^ 

Partners of the Tide 


Anthor of" Cap'n Ed" 


A. L. BURT COMPANY Poblismers 



Copyrisht, 1901 
£. f. E4RNS8 A Oa 

fttblUlmi Aprti. aOi 

by Google 

J ,»^ 7_ v<e 

I. Tbe Ouau 8t«ob. . . 

II. Tbs "Old Huh".. 

III. Tbs "Doo Gnu." 

IV. T«. "LAtTD»T" 

V. A Cbahoi or Pum,., 

VI. TbiTbdui Dun... 

Vn. A QouTiaH or Pouct 

Vm. Houi Arum 

IX. ' 

D WjL 


X. Tat Lmnn ScBoonn 

At Srroein Poiin 

Tsi Akcboe or ni Liiutt... 

Mk. CooiWi.1. 

The "Svncumon Bill" 

Thb Divma Bills 

Tbi Cuttaim'* Gauli 





WOU Am WOMT.... 

Mi. Sau Hxiaioaa... 

Tie BmaiAi 

A Dnr ii Pud 


by Google 




•# ^J A y AS you cal'latin' to buy one of 
them turnovers, bub ?" casual- 
ly inquired Mr. Clark, ceasing 
to gaze at his steaming boots, 

which were planted against the bulging centre of the 

station stove, and turning toward the boy at the lunch 


"Yes, sir," said the boy. He had taken off one 

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worsted mitten and held a iive<ent piece clutched 
tightly in his red hst. 

"I want to know I" exclaimed Mr. Clark, and then, 
bending forward, as much as his girth would allow, 
to wink 'round thecomer of the stove at Mr. Bodkin, 
who sat opposite, he added: "Ain't your ma ever 
learned you to respect age?" 

The boy made no reply to this question, but Mr. 
Bodkin slapped his thigh and remarked that that was 
"a good one." 

"Them turnovers," continued Mr. Clark, "was 
willed to this depot by the man that used to drive the 
Ostable bake-cart. He's dead now, and here you be, 
figgcrin' to eat up hia gravestone. Dear, dearl I 
don't know what this country's comin' to. Ike, 
gimme a match." 

Mr. Bodldn, after his laugh was over, produced 
a "card" of matches and passed them to the humor- 
ist, who used one to relight the stump of his cigar 
and put the remainder in his pocket. Then he re- 
turned to his subject. 

"Them turnovers " he began, but was inter- 
rupted by the station agent, who came out of the 
Iktle room where the telegraph instrument was click- 
ing, and stepped behind the lunch counter. He lookied 
at the joker and his companion in anythinfr but a 
friendly manner. 

"Those turnovers," said the station agent, "were 
fresh yesterday and they're good for somethin', which 
is more than I can say about some other fresh things 
around this depot jest now. Lon Clark, I'd like to 

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remuid you that we use blackm' on that stove, not 
terbacker juice. Well, boy, what'U you have?" 

The boy, thus appealed to, held up his five-cent 
piece and said that he should like one of the slan- 
dered "turnovers." 

"All right; which'll it be — mince or apple?" 

"If I was you," suggested Mr. Clark, not yet com- 
pletely crushed, "I'd take the mince kind. You know 
what you'll git if you take apple, but baker's mince> 
meat's kind of a myst'ry. Might bite into a gold 
dollar, like as not; hey, Ike?" 

"Give me an apple one," said the boy, decidedly. 

The station agent wrapped the pastry in a piece 
of newspaper and handed it to his customer. Then 
he came out from behind the counter and, looking at 
Mr. Clark and his friend, snifled suspiciously. 

"Either of you fellers got your boots afire?" he 
asked, after a moment. "Seems to me I smell some* 
thin' mean, like leather bumin'. Oh, excuse me, 
Lon; I didn't notice your cigar." And, having un- 
loaded this bit of sarcasm, he returned to the tele* 
graph instrument. 

The boy, a youngster of about twelve years of 
age, with a freckled face and a pair of bright gray 
eyes, took his "turnover" to the settee in the comer 
of the waiting-room and began to eat. He had on a 
worn cloth cap with an attachment that could be 
pulled down to cover the ears, and a shabby overcoat 
of man's size, very much too large for him. As he 
munched the greasy crust and the thin layer of *'evap> 
orated" apple, he looked around him with interest. 



The station Itself was like the average railway 
building on Cape Cod. Except for the sign "Har- 
niss" that hung outside, it might have been the station 
at Welhnouth, which he had seen so often. Battered 
settees around the walls; lithographs of steamers, 
time-tables and year-old announcements of excursions 
and county fairs hung above them ; big stove set in a 
box of sawdust — all these were the regulation fix- 
tures. Regulation also were the "refreshments" on 
the counter at the side — "turnovers" arranged cob- 
house fashion under a glass cover, with a dingy 
"Washington" pie under another cover, and jars of 
striped stick candy with boxes of "jawbreakers" and 
similar sweetmeats between. 

It was snowing hard and, in the dusk of the winter 
evening, the flakes rustled against the windows as if 
unseen old ladies In starched summer gowns were 
shivering In the storm and crowding to get a peep 
within. The air in the shut waiting-room smelt of 
hot stove, sawdust, wet clothing and Mr. Clark's 
cigar. To this collection of perfumes was presently 
added the odor of kerosene as the station agent lit 
the big lamps in their brackets on the wall. 

From outside came the sounds of creaking wheels 
and stamping horses, the stamping muffled by the 
snow which covered the ground. Also some one, In 
a voice more vigorous than sweet, was heard to sing 
a chorus of "Hi, randy, dandy— ol" Mr. Clark 
and his friend took their feet down from the stove 
and looked expectantly toward the door, the former 
remarking that "Barney was feelin' gay to-night,'* 



and that he "must have a bottle of consolation 

The door opened and a big man, with a face of 
which gray whiskers and red nose were the most 
prominent features, came stamping and puffing Into 
the room. He jerked off a pair of leather gloves, 
playfully shook the congealed moisture from them 
down Mr. Clark's neck inside his collar, tossed a long 
whip into the comer, and, holding his spread lingers 
over the stove, began to sing "Whoa, Emma 1" with 

Mr. Clark being too busy clawing the melting 
snow from his neck to c^en a conversation, 
Mr. Bodkin observed: "Hello, Barney I How's 
the trav'lin' ? Have a rough time drivin' 

"Oh, middlin' middlin'," replied the driver of the 
Orham stage, unbuttoning his overcoat and reach* 
ing for his pipe; "but this earth's a vale of tears, 
anyhow, so what's the odds so long's you're happyt 
Heilo, Danl" The last a shouted greeting to the 
station agent in the little room, whose answer was a 
wave of the hand and a sidelong nod across the tele- 
graph instrument. 

"What's doin' over in Orham, Barney?" inquired 
Mr. Clark. 

"Methodist folks are goin' to start up temp'rance 
meetin's; Seth Wingate's bought a new horse; and 
'Hungry* Bill Samuels has got another child — that's 
the latest excitement jest about now. Not that 'Hun- 
gry' Bill's baby was much of a surprise; you can 



gtnVally count on a new Samuels every year. The 
temp'rance revival is the reel thing, though; folks 
fignin' the pledge as if 'twas catchin', like the 

"You ain't developed the symptoms yit, have 
you?" asked Mr. Clark, with a laugh. 

"No, not yit. Lucky I was vaccinated young. I 
ain't takin' no chances, though; keep plenty of pre- 
ventative in the house all the time ;" and, with a pro- 
found wink, Mr. Small began to hum, "Cold water, 
cold water; oh, that is my song!" 

"Oh, say I" he shouted, suddenly interrupting his 
own concert, "say, Dan I there is some more news, 
after all. Come out here a minute; I want to tell 
you somethin'." 

The station agent turned his head in the speaker's 

direction. "Go ahead," he said, "I can hear you." 

"Well, I thought you'd be interested, bein' as you 

used to live in Orham. Prissy and Tempy's adopted 

a boy." 

The agent evidently was interested, "Whatf" he 

"Prissy and Tempy's took a boy to bring up. Oh, 
It's a fact I It took me some tune to b'lievc it, my- 
self, but it's so." 

"The old maids?" 

"Yup, the old maids. I s'pose they come to reel- 
ize that they needed a man 'round the house, but as 
there wan't no bids in that line, they sort of com- 
promised on a boy." 

"You don't mean the Alien old maids that live 



down on the 'lower road,' do you?" asked Mr. 

"Sartin. I said the old maids, didn't I ? Therc'» 
plenty of single women in Orham, but when you say 
'the old maids' in our town, everybody knows you 
mean Prissy and Tempy." 

"I dwie a job for them once," remarked Mr. Bod- 
kin, reflectively. "I was over to Orham sellin' ber- 
ries. I wam't reelly lookin' for no work, you under- 
stand, but " 

"Yup, we understand," said the stage driver, dryly. 
"It sort of reached out and nabbed you 'fore you 
could git away." 

"That's it," assented Ike, oblivious to the sarcasm. 
"I called at their place — it's that big, old-fashioned 
house by John Baxter's cranb'ry swamp, Lon — and 
Miss Prissy Allen, she bought the last of my huckle- 
berries. Thioi she wanted to know if I wouldn't mow 
the front yard. We had some dicker 'bout the price» 
but I fin'lly agreed to do it, so she showed me where 
the scythe was and I started in. And I swan to man," 
continued Mr. Bodkin, excitedly, "if she didn't stand 
on the front steps and watch me like a dog tr^n' to 
locate a flea, jumpin' on me every minute or two to 
tell me that she thought I'd cut this part ' 'most an 
inch shorter'n I had that part,' and so on. F^n'Uy 
I got sick of her naggin', and I says, jest to shame 
her, I says, 'If I'd known you was so partic'lar,' I 
says, 'I'd a-brought my sperrit level along,' I says. 
And says she, 'There's one that used to b'long to 
father out in the bam.' Well, sir I that was too much 



for me! 'I don't mow grass by no sperrit level,' says 
I, 'and I tell you, I ' " 

"What about the boy, Barney?" said the station 
agent, coming into the waiting-room. 

"Why," said Mr. Small, "It's this way; seems that 
Prissy and Tempy's father, old Cap'n D'rius Allen — 
he's been dead six years or more now — had a niece 
name of Sophia, that married Cap'n Ben Ntckerson 
over to Wellmouth. Cap'n Ben and his wife had 
one son ; I think the boy's name's Bradley. Anyhow, 
Cap'n Ben and his wife was drowned off the Portu- 
guese coast two years ago when Ben's bark was lost; 
maybe you remember? Well, the boy was left at 
home that voyage with Ben's ha'f brother, Solon 
Nickerson, so's the youngster could go to school. 
When his folks was drownded that way the boy kept 
on livin' with Solon till, 'bout three weeks ago, Solon 
was took with pneumony and up and died. Prissy 
and Tempy's the only relations there was, you sec, so 
it was left to them to say what should be done with 
the boy. I cal'Iate there must have been some 
high old pow-wowin' in the old house, but the 
old maids are pretty conscientious, spite of their 
bein' so everlastin' 'old maidy,' and they fin'lly 
decided 'twas their duty to take the little fel- 
ler to bring up. That's the way / heard the 
yam. They kept it a secret until yesterday, but 
now the whole town's, talkin' 'bout it. You see, it's 
such a good joke for them two to have a boy in the 
house. Why, Prissy's been used to sbooin' every stray 
boy off the place as if he was a hen." 

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Mr. Small laughed so heartily at this that the 
others joined in. When the hilarity had subsided, 
the station agent asked: 

"When's the Nickcrson boy comin' over from 

"Why, to-day, come to think of it. He was to 
come up on the afternoon train from Wellmouth and 
go to Orham with me to-night. You ain't seen 
nothin' " 

The station agent interrupted him with a sidelong 
movement of the bead. 

"Huh?" queried Mr. Small. Then he, In com- 
pany with Mr. Clark and Mr. Bodkin, turned to- 
ward the corner of the waiting-room. 

The boy who had bought the apple "turnover," 
having finished the last crumb of that viand, had 
turned to the window, and was looking out through 
a hole he had scraped In the frost on the pane. He 
had shaded his face with his hands to shut out the 
lamplight, and, though he must have heard the con- 
versation, his manner betrayed no interest in it. 

Mr. Small interrogated the station agent by rais- 
ing his eyebrows. The agent whispered, "Shouldn't 
wonder," and added; "He came on the up-train thisi 

"Hey, boy I" said Mr. Clark, who never let con- 
sideration for other people interfere with his own 
curiosity, "what's your name ?" 

The boy turned from the window and, blinking a 
little as the light strack his eyes, faced the group by 
Ae stove. His freckled cheeks glistened as the light 

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thone upon them, but, as if he knew this, he pulled 
the big sleeve of the overcoat across his face and 
rubbed them dry. 

"What's your name, sonny?" said the stage driver, 

"Nickerson," said the boy in a low tone. 

"I want to know I Your fust name ain't Bradley, 
is it?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"Sfao I well, there now I Guess you're goin' to ride 
over with me then. I drive the Orham coach. 
Hum I well, I declare I" And Mr. Small pulled his 
beard in an embarrassed fashion. 

"Come over to the stove and get warm, won't 
you?" asked the station agent. 

"I ain't cold," was the reply. 

"Well, ain't you hungry now?" said Barney, who 
was afraid that his roughly told story had hurt the 
youngster's feelings. "Won't you have somethin' to 
eat? One of them turnovers or some Washington 
pie, or somethin', hey? Got a long ride ahead of 
you, you know." 

"He's got outside of one turnover already," said 
Clark, with a loud laugh, "and that's enough to last 
most folks for a consid'rable spell. Haw I haw 1" 

"Shut up, Lon," snapped the stage driver. "What 
d'you say, son? Somethin' to eat?" 

"'I ain't hungry, thank you," said the boy, and 
turned to the window again. 

The trio by the stove fidgeted in silence for a few 
moments, and then Mr. Small said, uneasily : "Ain't 

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It 'most time for that train to be in? She's a ha'f 
hour late now." 

"She was twenty-five minutes late at Sandwich," 
said the station agent, "and she's prob'Iy lost ten 
minutes or so since then. She'll be along in a little 
while now.'* 

But in spite of this cheerful prophecy a full fifteen 
minutes passed before the train, which had been 
started from Boston with the vague idea that, some 
time or other, it might get to Provincetown, came 
coughing and panting 'round the curve and drew up 
at the station platform. Car roofs and sides, and 
tender and locomotive were plastered thick with 
snow, and the empty seats seen through the doors as 
the trainmen emerged, showed that travel for this 
night was very light indeed. In fact, only one pas- 
senger got out at the Hamiss station, and he, stop- 
ping for a moment to hand his trunk check to the 
station agent, walked briskly into the waiting-room 
and slammed the door behind him. 

"Hello I" he hailed, pulling off a buckskin glove 
and holding out a big hand to the stage driver. 
"Barney, how's she headin'?" 

Mr. Small grinned and took the proffered hand. 

"Well, for the land's sake, Ez TitcombI" he ex- 
claimed. "Where'd you drop from? Thought you 
was somewheres off the coast between New York 
and Portland jest 'bout now." 

"Got shore leave for a fortni't or so," said the 
newcomer, unbuttoning his overcoat with a smart 
jerk, and throwing it wide open. "Schooner sprung 



a leak oH Gay Head last trip and she's hauled up at 
East Boston for repairs. Dirty weather, ain't it? 
Hello, Lon? How are you, Ike?" 

Mr. Clark and his friend grinned and responded, 
"How are you, Cap'n Ez?" in unison. 

The arrival was a short, thickset man, with a sun- 
burned face, sharp eyes, hair that was a reddish 
brown sprinkled with gray, and a cIose>Glipped mus- 
tache of the same color. He wore a blue overcoat 
over a blue suit, and held a cigar firmly in one cor- 
ner of his mouth. His movements were quick and 
sharp, and he snapped out his sentences with vigor. 

"Full cargo to-night ?" he asked of Mr. Small, who 
was buttoning his overcoat and pulling on his gloves. 

"Pretty nigh an empty hold," was the reply. 
"Only 'bout one and a ha'f goin' over. You're the 
one and the boy here's the ha'f." 

The Captain looked at the boy by the window and 
smiled pleasantly. 

"Well, son," he observed, "you and me'U have the 
whole cabin to ourselves, won't we ?" 

"Yes, sir," replied the youngster. He had pulled 
from behind the settee an old-fashioned carpet-bag, 
the cadaverous sides of which testified that the ward- 
robe it held was not an extensive one. Mr. Clark, 
who had a reputation as a humorist to sustain, noticed 
the bag and rose to the occasion. 

"Say, bub," he said, "you ought to feed that satchel 
of yours two or three of them apple turnovers; maybe 
'twould fat up some." 

Ike Bodkin roared at his friend's witticism, and th« 

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boy turned red and looked out of the window once 
more. Captain Titcomb noticed the lad's confusion, 
and remarked cheerfully : 
, "Lon, you remind me of that flyin' machine old 
Cap'n Labe Saunders was perfertin' for the five years 
afore he died. You're fat and full of hot air, but 
you won't work. Turnovers are all right; I like 
turnovers myself. All ready, Barney?" 

"All aboard!" shouted the stage driver. "Come 
on, Brad. You and the Cap'n git inside, while me 
and Dan git the dunnage on the rack." 

The boy picked up the carpet-bag and followed 
Mr. Small out to the rear platform of the station, 
where the coach, an old-fashioned, dingy vehicle, 
drawn by four sleepy horses, stood waiting. 

Captain Titcomb followed, his overcoat Sapping 
in the wind. 

"Here, Barney," he observed, "have a cigar to 
smoke on the road. Have one, Dan? Here, Lon, 
here's a couple for you and Ike. Who's the little 
feller?" he added, in a whisper, to the station agent. 

"Ben Nickerson's boy from Welimouth. He's 
comin' down to Orham to live with the old maids. 
They've adopted him," 

"The old maids? Not the old maids? Not 
Prissy and Tempy?" 

"Yup. All right, Barney; I'm comin'." 

The station agent hurried away to help the driver 
with theCaptain's sea chest, and its owner, apparently 
overcome with astonishment, climbed mutely into the 
coach, where his fellow passenger had preceded him. 



The old vehicle rocked and groaned as the heavy 
chest was strapped on the racks behind. Then it 
tipped again, as Mr. Small climbed clumsily to the 
driver's seat. 

"All ashore that's goin' ashore I" shouted Mr. 
Small. "So long, Dan. Git dap, Two-forty!" 

The whip cracked, the coach reeled on its springs, 
and the whole equipage disappeared in the snow and 

"Humph !" grunted Mr. Clark, as he peered after 
it. "This ain't no five-cent cigar. Might know it 
come from Ez Titcomb. It's a queer thing that other 
coastin' skippers have to put up with a pipe; but that 
ain't Er's style — no sir-ee I" 

"Yup," assented Mr. Bodkin, "and that ain't the 
only queer thing. How' is it he can have such good 
clothes, and fetch home such nice presents and one 
thing or 'nother, when other fellows in the same bus'- 
ness can't. Oh, he's smart, all right enough I Some 
folks thinks he's too smart. They say " 

"Some folks says he'll bear watchin'," continued 
Lon, puffing vigorously at the cigar. "Now, under- 
stand, / don't say nothin', but " 

"If you fcUcrs are intendin' to sleep here you'd 
better be makin' up your beds," interrupted the 
staticm agent. "I'm goin' to shut up shop and go 

This was in the days before the Orham Branch 
Railroad was built, and passengers for the latter vil- 
lage were obliged to leave the train at Hamiss and 



take the ten-mile stage ride under the guidance of 
Mr. Small or his partner "Labe" Lotbrop. The 
coaches were of about the same ages as their drivers, 
die horses were not so very many years younger, and 
the roads were deeply rutted, so the home-coming 
mariners of Orham, no matter how smooth their sea 
voyages 'might have been, were certain of a "rough 
passage" during the concluding portion of their 

The boy, Bradley Nlckerson, had never ridden in 
a stagecoach before and, after ten or fifteen minutes 
of jolt and roll, he decided that he never wanted to 
ride in one again. He had chosen the middle seat, 
the back of which was a broad leather strap just high 
enough to slap him vigorously on the back of the head 
when he sac upright, and the cushions, from years of 
wear, sloped down to a sharp edge in front. If he 
crouched to avoid the strap, he was in danger of slid- 
ing off the seat altogether. 

It was dark inside the coach and very stuffy, and 
the Captain was smoking. The snow struck the win- 
dows as if some one was throwing it in handfuls. 
There was some straw on the floor, intended to warm 
the feet of passengers who traveled on such nights as 
this, but Bradley's feet did not reach the floor, and 
there was a vigorous draught of fresh air coming 
through the door cracks. In the lulls of the wind, 
Mr. Small's voice was faintly heard singing "Beulah 
land" or swearing at the horses. 

Suddenly Captain Titcomb, who had been silent 
so far, spoke. 



"Heavy sea on to-night," he observed. " 'Pcara 
to me Bamey'd better take a reef. She's rollin' con- 

The boy laughed and said, "Yes, sir." 

"Goin' all the way to Orham?" asked the Captain. 

"Yes, sir." 
* "Got folks over there, I presume likely. Friends, 
or nothin' but jest relations?" 

"Relations, I — I guess." 

"Sol Well, I've got a good many relations over 
there m^elf. Fact is, IVe got relations, seems to 
me, 'most everywheres. Father used to have so 
many of 'em, that when he went visitin' he used to 
call it 'goin' cousinin'.' My name's Titcorab ; what 
do they call you when your back ain't turned?" 

The boy laughed again, in a puzzled way — he 
- scarcely knew what to make of his questioner — and 
said that his name was Bradley Nickerson. 

"Nickerson, hey? That settles it; you're a Cape 
Codder. Minute I meet anybody named Nickerson 
I always know they've got the same kind of sand in 
their boots that I have. Is it Obcd Nickerson's folks 
you're goin' to see?" 

"No, sir. I'm goin' to liVe with Miss Priscilla 
Allen. Her and her sister; they was some of moth- 
er's people." 

"Sho ! well I swan I" muttered the Captain. "Prissy 
and Tempy, hey? Then Dan wan't foolin'. And 
you're goin' to live with 'cm?" 

"Yes, sir. Do you know 'em ?" 

"Who — ^me? Oh, yes I I know 'em. I'm a 



partic'lar friend of theirs. That Is," he added, cau- 
tiously, "I call on 'em once in a while jest to say 'How 
are you ?' Why ? You didn't hear any of them fel- 
lers at the depot say anything 'bout me and them, did 

you? No I Well, all right, I jest thought . 

Oh, yes I I know 'em. Nice folks as ever was, but 
what you might call a little mite 'sot in their ways.' 
Do you always wipe your feet when you come into the 

"Why — why — yes, sir; if I don't forget it." 

"All right; it's a good habit to git into, 'specially 
if you're goin' to walk on Prissy's floors. Some- 
times I've wished I could manage to put my feet in 
my pocket when I've been there. I wonder if I knew 
your father? What was his name?" 

Bradley told his father's name and, in response to 
the Captain's tactful questioning, a good deal more 
besides. In fact, before long Captain Titcomb knew 
all about the boy, where he came from, how he hap- 
pened to come, and all the rest. And Bradley, for 
his part, learned that his companion commanded the 
coasting schooner Thomas Doane; that he had been 
a sailor ever since he was fourteen; that he had a 
marvelous fund of sea yarns and knew how to spin 
them ; and that he — Bradley — liked him. 

By and by the Captain noticed that the boy's re- 
plies to his cheerful obser\-ations were growing rather 
incoherent, and, suspecting the reason, he ceased to 
talk. A few minutes later he leaned forward and 
smiled to find his fellow traveler, who had slipped 
down upon the cushion, fast asleep. Carefully he 



drew up the boy's feet, made him more comfortable,, 
and taking the worn laprobe from his own kneest 
threw it over the sleeper. Bradley dozed on in the 
darkness. An hour went by, and then he was awak- 
ened by the coach stopping. Outside some one was 
yelling, "Hi, there!" at the top of his lungs. 

"Don't be scared, Bradley," said the Captain. 
"It's only foolish Sol." 

He lowered the upper half of the window as he 
spoke and Bradley saw a light zig-zagging down a 
bank by the roadside. As it came nearer he saw that 
it was a lantern in the hands of a tall man with red 
whiskers, who, muffled in a striped tippet and a 
mangy fur cap, came stumbling through the snow to 
the coach. 

"Heiio, Soli" hailed Mr. Small from the box. 
"What d'you want?" 

"Hi, there!" said the man with the lantern. "Got 
any terbacker?" 

The stage driver produced a plug, cut off a fair- 
sized chunk with a big knife, and handed it down to 
the man. ; 

"There you be," he observed, and added, "would 
you b'lieve it, Sol, I kind of s'picioned you wanted 
terbacker when I fust heard you." 

"Here's a plug I brought cm purpose for you, Sol," 
said Captain Titcomb, handing a carefully wrapped 
package through the open window. 

The man grinned, took the tobacco, and stood grin- 
ning and bowing as the coach went on. 

"That's foolish Sol Newcomb," e^^lained Captain 



Titcomb. "His tap riggin's out of gear, but he's a 
harmless critter. Lives ofE in the woods here, and 
there ain't a trip this coach makes, day or night, that 
he ain't waitin' for it, to beg terbacker. Some folks 
carry a piece on purpose for him." 

The next time Bradley awoke, Captain Titcomb 
was standing on the ground by the open door of the 

"Good night. Brad," he said. "Here's where I'm 
bound for. You've got a five-minute ride or so more 
'fore you git to the old mai — that is, to Prissy and 
Tempy's. I'll see you to-morrer- You and me's 
goin' to be chums, you know." 

The door was shut; Mr. Small struck up "Camp- 
town Races," and the stage bumped on again. This 
time the boy did not sleep, but, holding on to the 
strap, tried to peer through the snow-crusted window. 
He saw a light here and there, but little else. After 
a short interval the coach turned a sharp comer, 
rolled on for perhaps twice its length, and then 

Mr. Small opened the door and Bradley, looking 
past him, saw the side of a large house, and a lighted 
doorway with two female figures, one plump and the 
other slender, standing in it. From behind them 
the lamplight streamed warm and bright and sent 
their shadows almost to his feet. 

"Come on, bub," said the stage driver, "here's 
where you git out. Miss Prissy," he shouted, "here's 
your new boarder," 

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BRADLEY, being what his late "Uncle 
Solon" had called a "noticin' boy," re- 
membered Captain Titcomb's hint con- 
cerning the foot wiping, and his first 
move, after crossing the Allen thresh- 
old, was to rub his worn brogans thoroughly on 
the home-made rope mat. After one glance about 
the big dining-room, however, he scoured them 
again, this time with even more pains and attention 
to detail. 

The plump wranan, whom Mr. Small had ad- 
dressed as "Miss Prissy," was counting into the 




stage-driver's palm a sum in small change from a 
portentous black wallet that fastened with a strap. 

"Forty-five and ten is fifty-five and five 13 sixty," 
she said, "and ten is seventy and five in pennies is 
seventy-five. There 1 I b'lieve that's right, Mr. 
Small. Would you mind shutting the gate when 
you drive out? Mr. Crosby brought us a load of 
wood this afternoon, and I told him he needn't shut 
it, because you would want to come in by and by. But 
I shouldn't /eel easy if I knew it was open all night. 
Thank you. Good night." 

"Good night," said the driver, pocketing the 
money with a grunt and a jingle. Like the boy, he 
had been very careful not to step oS the mat. "Good 
night, Miss Tempy. Snow's lettin' up a little mite; 
guess 'twill be clear by momin'. Good night, Brad." 

The plump lady closed the door behind him, just 
in time to shut out the opening notes of the "Sweet 
By and By." Then she dropped the hook into the 
staple, wound the leather strap carefully about the 
wallet, placed the latter in a compartment of a tall 
chest of drawers in the comer, turned the key upon 
it and put the key under the alabaster candlestick on 
the mantel. Then she turned to the boy, who, hold- 
ing his carpet-bag with both hands, sttU stood un- 
easily on the mat, while the slim lady fidgeted in front 
of him. 

"Bradley," said the plump lady — she was dressed 
in some sort of black material that rustled, and wore 
a lace collar, jet earrings and a breastpin with a 
braided lock of hair in the center of it — "Bradley, 



we're real glad to see you. I'm Miss Priscilla ; this 
is my sister, Miss Temperance." 

"Yes, Bradley," coincided "Miss Tempy," 'Ve're 
real glad to see you." She was the younger of the 
two, and was gowned in what the boy learned later 
was her "brown poplin." Her hair was not worn 
plain, like her sister's, but had a little bunch of curls 
over each ear. She also wore a hair breastpin, but 
her earrings were gold. 

Bradley shook the extended hands, Miss Prissy's 
red and dimpled, and Miss Tempy's thin and white 
with two old-fashioned rings on the fingers. 

"Won't you — won't you set down?" ventured 
Miss Tempy, after a rather awkward pause. 

"Why, yes, of course," said Miss Prissy, "and 
take your things right off — do." 

Bradley placed the carpet-bag on the comer of the 
mat, and pulled off the shabby overcoat. The jacket 
and trousers beneath were also shabby, but it was at 
his shoes that Miss Prissy glanced and, oddly enough, 
their ccmdition served to break the formality. 

"My goodness me!" she ejaculated; "jest look at 
his poor feet, Tempy Allen I Come right over to the 
stove this minute and take off those shoes; they're 
soppin' wet through." 

"No, ma'am," protested the boy. "They ain't, 
honest. They only look so." 

"Don't tell me/" commanded Miss Prissy. "Go 
right over to the stove this minute." 

Bradley reluctantly obeyed, stepping gingerly 
across the spotless oilcloth, and taking as long strides 



as possible. It did not add to his comfort to see 
Miss Tempy shake the melting snow into the center 
of the rope mat, fold the latter carefully together, and 
disappear with tt into the kitchen. 

Miss Prissy piloted him to the chintz-covered 
rocker by the big "air-tight" stove. Then she pro- 
ceeded to unlace the patched brc^ns, commenting 
in an undertone upon the condition of the stockings 

"I'm 'fraid," said Bradley, fearfully, "that I've 
got some snow water on your floor, ma'am." 

"Don't say a word I Thank goodness, your feet 
ain't so wet as I thought they was. Put 'em right on 
the rail of the stove there, while I go up to the 
garret and get those slippers of father's. I'll be right 

She hurried out of the room, just as her sister en- 
tered it by the other door. 

"Now set right still," said Miss Tempy, bustling 
about with the steaming teakettle in her hand. "I'm 
goin' to make you some pepper tea. There's noth- 
in' in the world like pepper tea when you're likely to 
catch cold." 

"Pepper tea" was a new prescription for the boy, 
and he watched with interest while Miss Tempy 
turned some milk into a bowl, flooded it with boiling 
water, added a spoonful of sugar, and vigorously 
shook the pepper box over the mess. 

"There !" she said. "Now drink that, every drop. 
Ain't you hungry?" 

Bradley, with tears in his eyes — the result of the 



first swallow of pepper tea — gaspingly protested that 
he wasn't hungry — not very. The sight and smell 
of the loaded supper table were so tempting that the 
denial was rather half-hearted. 

"Not very/ When did you have anything to eat 
last ?" 

"Mr. Bartlett — he's the s'lectman at Wellmouth — 
gave me a sandwich at the depot 'fore I started, 
ma'am, and I bought a turnover at Haraiss." 

"My sakesi Prissy" — to her sister, who came 
rustling in-—- "he hasn't et a thing but a sandwich and 
a turnover since mornin'." 

"Land I" was Miss Prissy's comment. She pro- 
ceeded to engulf the youngster's feet in a pair of 
enormous carpet slippers, the knobs and hollows un- 
der their faded roses showing where the toes of the 
late Captain Darius had found lodging. A smell of 
camphor pervaded the room. 

"Oh, don't those look like father 1" sighed Miss 
Tempy. "How many times I've seen him in that 
very rocker with those slippers on, readin' his Item, 
and " 

"I'm 'frald they ain't a very good fit," interrupted 
the practical Miss Prissy. "S'posc they'll stay on?" 

"Yes, ma'am," said Bradley, trying to be agree- 
able ; "they're real pretty, with flowers on 'em so." 

"Prissy and me gave those to father the second 
Christmas before he died," observed Miss Tempy, 
reminiscently. "He used to say he got so much com- 
fort out of 'em. Yes, Prissy, I know. Now come 
right over to the table, Bradley, and set down." 



"What's in that bowl?" asked her sister, sharply. 
"Tcmpy Allen, have you been roastin' that poor 
child's stomach out with your everlastin' pepper tea?" 

Miss Tempy drew herself up indignantly. "I 
should think you'd be ashamed to talk so, Prissy," 
she said, "after you've seen what pepper tea's done 
for me!" 

"Oh, well ! 'tain't worth makin' a fuss about. Now 
Bradley, speak right out if there's anything you want 
that ain't here, won't you? We've had our sup- 

Bradley said "Yes, ma'am," obediently. Privately 
his firm belief was that every eatable in Orham was 
on that supper table. There was "marble cake" — 
it was misnamed so far as its texture was concerned — 
"two egg" cake and fruit cake from the tin box in 
the parlor closet. There was "beach-plum" pre- 
serve and crab-apple jelly, and barberries preserved 
with slices of sweet apple. For substantial, milk 
toast and potted spiced mackerel were in evidence. 
As a crowning delicacy there was a wicker-covered 
Canton china jar of preserved ginger. 

As the boy ate he looked about the room. It was 
a big room with a low ceiling, spotlessly whitewashed. 
The oilcloth on the floor was partially covered with 
braided rag mats with carpet centres. On the win- 
dow shades were wonderful tinted pictures of castles 
and mountains. The table was black walnut, and 
there were five rush-seated chairs, each in its place 
against the wall, and looking as if it were glued there 
— the sixth of the set he occupied. Then there was 



the chintz-covered rocker and-another rocker, painted 
black with s worn picture of a ship at sea on the back. 
There was another ship over the face of the tall 
wooden clock in the comer. This craft was evi- 
dently the "Flying Dutchman," for every time the 
clock ticked It rolled heavily behind a fence of tin 
waves, but didn't advance an inch. On the walls 
were several works of art, including a spatter-work 
motto, a wreath made of sea shells under a glass, and 
an engraving showing a boat filled with men, women 
and children and rowed by a solemn individual in his 
shirtsleeves, moving over a placid sheet of water to- 
ward an unseen port. 

"The name of that picture is 'From Shore to 
Shore,' " said the observant Miss Tempy. "You see 
there's the children in the bow, and the young man 
and his lady-love next, and the father and mother 
next to them, and the old folks in the stem. It's a 
beautiful picture — so much deep meanin' in it. 
There's some lovely poetry under it that you must 
read; all about the voyage of life. Help yourself to 
the preserved ginger," she added. "It came all the 
way from Calcutta. Father used to bring us so much 
of it. That ginger-jar looks so like him." 

Bradley began to think that the parental Allen 
must have been a queer-looking old gentleman. Miss 
Tempy continued : 

"Of course, father didn't bring that jar," she said. 
"That was one of Cap'n Titcomb's presents. He got 
it in New York." 

"Cap'n Titcomb?" repeated the boy, whose bash- 

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'fulness was wearing off. "He came over m the coach 
with me to-night." 

The effect of this announcement was remarka- 
ble. Miss Prissy looked at Miss Tempy, and the 
latter returned the look. Strange to say, both col- 

- ored. 

"Cap'n Titcomb?" faltered Miss Prissy. "Cap'n 
Ezra Titcomb ?" 

"Yes, ma'am. He talked to me 'most all the way. 
I liked him first rate." 

"Why — ^why, I do declare! I didn't know the 
Cap'n was expected, did you, Tempy?" 

"No, I'm sure I didn't I" exclaimed the flustered 
younger sister. "Did he — did he tell you why he 
was comin', Bradley?" 

"No, ma'am, but I heard him tell the man that 
drove the coach that he had shore leave for a week, 
'cause his schooner was laid up for repairs. He said 
he knew you, though, and that he was comin' 'round 
to see me to-morrer." 

This remark caused quite as much embarrassment 
and agitation as that concerning the Captain's pres- 
ence in the coach. The two ladies again glanced hur- 

- ricdly at each other. 

"Goodness gracious !" exclaimed Miss Prissy, "and 
the settin'-room not swept and the windows not 
washed. I'll have to get up early to-morrer momin'. 
I'm so glad I fixed that rufilc on my alpaca," she 
added, in an absent-minded soliloquy. 

"And I must finish that tidy for the sofy," said 
Miss Tempy, nervously. "I've only got a little more 



to do on it, thank goodness 1 Prissy, I'm going to 
put an iron on ; I want to press my other collar. Did 
— lUd the Cap'n say anything more about me — us, I 
mean ?" she added, lookmg at the stove. 

"No, ma'am, he didn't," replied the boy. "He 
jest asked about me, and told stories and talked." 

Miss Tempy seemed a little disappointed and made 
no comment. Her sister, too, was silent. Presently 
Bradley yawned. He tried to hide it, but Miss 
Prissy, coming out of her trance, saw him. 

"My sakes !" she exclaimed, "what are we thinkin' 
of, keepin' you up this way? It's after nine o'clock. 
Let mc get the lamp. Tempy, you do up that soap- 
stone for his feet." 

She rose and went into the kitchen, returning with 
a brass hand lamp, while her sister removed the oma- 
mental top of the "air-tight" and, with a holder, took 
out a hot slab of soapstone, which she proceeded to 
wrap in several thicknesses of flannel. 

When this operation was completed. Miss Prissy 
led the way with the lamp, and the boy, doubling up 
his toes to keep "father's" slippers on his feet, scuf- 
Singly followed her through a dark hall, up a steep 
staircase, in the niche by the first landing of which the 
model of a fuIUrigged ship, sailing under a glass case 
through a sea of painted putty, caught his eye ; then 
through another hall, cold and dark, and into a large, 
square sleeping room, with a high corded bedstead 
in the centre, 

"This is your room, Bradley," she said, placing the 
lamp on the glass-knobbed bureau, "It's pretty cold. 

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but we've aired the bed so there won't be any damp- 
ness and the soapstone'll help wann up." 

She turned back the several layers of patchwork 
comforters, blankets and counterpane, and put the 
hot stone in the centre of the billowy feather bed. , 
Then she fidgeted about in an embarrassed sort of 
way, and finally asked : 

"I — I s'pose you brought your nightgown with 

"Yes, ma'am," and Bradley produced the ragged 
relic from his carpet bag. 

Miss Prissy took the nightgear between her finger 
and thumb. "My soul I" was her only comment, but 
its tone was all-sufficient. She disappeared, to re- 
turn in a moment or two with a folded flannel gar- 
ment in her hand. 

"Here's one of father's," she said. "It'll be too 
big for you, but you can wear it for two or three 
nights, and me and Tempy'U make you some new 
ones. Good night." 

The lamp made a little oasis of light in the dusky 
desert of "spare room." There were two or 
three straight-backed chairs set squarely in their 
places on the ingrain carpet ; some wax flowers under 
a glass on the shelf, and a vase of dried "feather 
grass" on a bracket in the comer. And everything, 
from the blue bottles — intended to contain toilet 
waters — in the centre of the knitted mats on the bu- 
reau, to the gilt candlesticks with the dangling glass 
prisms, looked as if they had been just where they 



now were for years and years, and would resent any 
Intrusion on their privacy. 

Bradley undressed in a hurry, for the temperature 
of the room was like that of the Arctic region. The 
framed daguerreotypes on the walls — portraits of 
wooden-faced seafaring gentlemen in black stocks 
, with their hair curled behind their ears, and of ladies 
in flowered scoop bonnets, their Bngcr rings realistic* 
ally put in with gilt paint, gazed down upon him with 
rigid disapproval. Even after he had lost his small 
self in Captain Darius' camphor-scented legacy — the 
flannel nightgown — and was floundering in the 
depths of the feather bed, he felt that the pictured 
eyes were looking at him through the dark as if their 
owners said, indignantly, "What is a boy doing 

The joists creaked overhead, the mice scuflled be- 
hind the plaster, the surf boomed in the distance, and 
the winter wind whined about the windows as if it, 
too, were asking "What is a boy doing here?" 

He was up early the next morning, and his dressing 
was a sort of jig, for it was freezing cold. From his 
window he could sec the Orham roofs and spires, 
white and sparkling in the sunrise light. The long 
hill behind the house, sloped, a snowy stretch, to the 
inner inlet, which was filled with floating ice cakes. 
The ocean side of the outer beach was white with a 
dancing line of breakers, and the sea itself was a deep 
blue, spangled with whitecaps. 

When he went downstairs it was evident that 
things had been going on. Miss Prissy came out of 

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the sitting-room, bearing a broom, and with her "al- 
paca" gown covered with an apron. Miss Tempy, 
her curls done up in papers, was busy with the "tidy" 
for the sofa. Each of the sisters was nervous and 

Miss Prissy said a stiff little grace at the breakfast 
table. Miss Tempy had a large cup of "pepper tea" 
for herself, and urged Bradley to partake, but the 
elder sister came to the rescue and gave him hot milk 
and water instead. After the meal was over and the 
dishes washed, Miss Prissy went out to feed the hens 
and Bradley went with her. The house, seen by day, 
was a big, square building, badly in need of paint. 
The roof was four-sided and sloped upward to a 
cupola in the centre. From its closely shut front 
door snow-covered box hedges in parallel lines de- 
^ed the path to the front gate, also locked and fae- 
tencd, and, like the front door, only used on occa- 
sions. There was a large tumble-down barn, with 
an empty pig-pen back of the house, and a hen-house 
and yard m the rear of the barn. 

Next door, to the left — on the right was a vacant 
field — ^was a small story and a half cottage, separated 
from the Allen household by a board fence. One of 
the boards in this fence had fallen down, and as Brad- 
ley, wading in Miss Pnssy's wake, passed this open- 
ing, he saw a girl, apparently about his own age, open 
the back door of the house next door and look out at 
him. He wanted to ask who she was, but didn't feel 
well enough acquainted with his guide to do so just 



Just as the dozen hens and lonesome-looking 
rooster were fed — Miss Prissy informed him that, by 
and by, looking after the poultry would be one of his 
duties — Miss Tempy's voice was heard calling ex- 
citedly from the kitchen door. 

"Prissyl" she screamed, "Prissy! come in the 
house quick I He's comin' ; the Cap'n's comin' !" 

"My land I" exclaimed the elder sister, wildly, and, 
her dignity forgotten, she almost ran to the house, 
followed by Bradley, who didn't understand the cause 
of the excitement. 

"Oh, my sakesi" ejaculated Miss Tempy, as they 
entered the kitchen. "What made him come so early 1 
You'll have to see him first, Prissy. I've got to Hx 
my hair." 

Miss Prissy rushed into the sitting-room, wheeled 
a chair into place, set a tidy straight, laid the photo- 
graph album exactly in the center of the table instead 
of two inches from the edge, and patted her own hair 
with her hands, dodging in front of the big gilt- 
framed mirror as she did so. Then, as a smart knock 
sounded on the dining-room door, she assumed her 
"company" smile and marched sedately to receive the 

It was Captain Titcomb who had knocked, and, 
after cleaning the snow from his boots on the 
"scraper," he entered the house, bearing two pack- 
ages wrapped in brown paper. 

"Well, Prissy," said the Captain, laying down the 
packages to shake hands, "how d'you do? Didn't 
expect to see me in this port jest now, did you ?" 



"No, indeed, Cap'n Titcomb," waathe reply. "But 
we're real glad to see you all the same. Come right 
in. Take your things oil. Bradley said he rode 
down with you in the coach last night. Dreadful 
storm we had, wasn't it ? How's your health 
nowadays? Walk right into the sittin'-room. You 
must excuse the lotrfcs of things; I've been 

There was a good deal more, but when Miss Prissy 
stopped for breath, the Captain, who had thrown his 
cap and overcoat on a chair, replied that the storm 
was bad, that his health was good and that the room 
looked "first rate,'* so far as he could see. Then he 
held out his hand to the boy, who had seated himself 
on a chair close to the door, and said, cheerily: 

"Mornin', Brad. Well, how are you after you( 
shake up last night? Wan't seasick after I got out, 
was you ?" 

Bradley grinned bashfully and stammered that he 
was "all right." 

"Good! We had a rugged trip comin' over, 
Prissy. The old coach rolled so I felt like goin' on 
deck and shortenin' sail. Your new boy here's goin' 
to make a good sailor — I can see that. Where's 

"Oh, she's upstairs for a minute. She'll be right 
down," answered Miss Prissy, carelessly. "Tel! me 
what brought you home so unexpected." 

"Sprung a leak and had to lay the old hooker up 
for repairs. That's a specialty of my owners — re- 
pairs. They'd rather patch up for a hundred ye^rs 



than build new vessels. I — I — Brad, fetch me them 
bundles out of the din!n'-room." 

Bradley obediently brought the brown^paper par- 
cels, and the Captain handed one of them to Miss 
Prissy, saying: "Here's a little somethin' I picked 
up over to New York, Prissy. I thought you might 
like it. I ain't got much use for such things, myself." 

The lady took the package and began to untie the 
string in a nervous manner, blushing a little as she 
did so. 

"I know it's somethin' nice, Cap'n Ezra, You do 
b«y the nicest things. It's real kind of you to re- 
member me this way. Oh I ain't that pretty I" 

The package contained a Japanese silk fan, with 
ivory sticks and a red tassel. Miss Prissy opened it 
and spread it out in her lap, exclaiming over its 
beauty, her face the color of the tassel. 

"Oh I it ain't nothin'," said the Captain. "I did a 
favor for a friend of mine that's skipper of a bark- 
entine jest home from Hong Kong, and he gave it to 
me. He had some stuff he'd brought for his daugh- 
ter, and the duty on it would have been pretty ex- 
pensive, so I fixed — but never mind that. I thought 
maybe you'd like it to carry to church in the summer 
time, or somethin'. Why, hello, Tempyl How 
d'you do?" 

The younger sister entered the room, her "poplin" 
rustling and every curl in place. She gushingly shook 
the Captain's hand, and said she was so glad to see 

"Oh, Tempyl" cred Miss Prissy, "jest look at this 

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lovely fan Cap'n Titcomb brought me. Did you ever 
see anything so pretty?" 

Miss Tempy exclaimed over the fan, but somehow 
her enthusiasm seemed a little forced. It may be the 
Captain noticed this; at any rate, he picked up the 
second parcel and handed it to her, saying: 

"Here's a little somethin' I hrraight for you, 
Tempy. I don't know's you'll like it, but " 

Miss Tempy's present also was a fan, precisely 
like the other except that the tassel was pink. Miss 
Prissy's interest in her sister's gift was intense, but 
when it was discovered that in no important point 
were the fans dissimilar and that neither was better 
than its mate, both of the ladies appeared to be a 
triSe disappointed, although they tried not to show it. 

"We're so glad you've come, Cap'n," said Miss 
Prissy, after the fans were laid on the table. "We've 
got so many things to talk to you about, and we want 
to ask your advice. Bradley, don't you think you'd 
like to go out into the dinin'-room a little while?" 

The boy, acting upon this decided hint, went into 
the dining-room, and Miss Prissy shut the door after 

"Now, Cap'n Titcomb," she began, "I s'posc you 
were awfully surprised to hear we'd took a boy to 
bring up? Well, you ain't any more surprised than 
we are to think we should do such a thing. But it 
seemed as if we jest had to, or else give up bein' 
Christians altogether. I'll tell you how it was." 

And she did tell him, beginning with the exact re- 
lationship between Bradley's mother and the Aliens, 



expatiating upon the shiftlessness of the boy's father 
and how he "never saved a cent," nor even took out 
an insurance policy to provide for his son, in case of 
his own death. 

"Father," she continued, "lost all patience with 
Ben years before he died and we didn't write nor any- 
thing. Fact is, we didn't know about the boy at all, 
until we read in the papers about Sophia and Ben's 
bein' lost when his vessel was wrecked. Leavin' the 
poor little chap in Solon Nickerson's care was another 
proof of Ben's carelessness. It's wrong to speak ill of 
the dead, but Solon was the worst good-for-nothin' I 
It's a mercy that the Lord took him before he'd 
had a chance to ruin the boy entirely. Well, Tempy 
and me have set up nights and talked and talked and 
talked, but we couldn't see but one right thing to do, 
so we did It. But, mercy me !" she exclaimed, lifting 
her hands, "what on earth we'll do with a boy is 
more'n / know. What shall we do?" 

"Bring him up in the way he ought to go, I guess," 
replied the Captain, calmly. "Send him to school, 
first thing." 

"There, Prissy I" exclaimed Miss Tempy, "that's 
what / said. Send him to school, and then to high 
school, and then to college. Wesleyan College is a 
nice quiet place, and so many ministers come from 
there that they'll probably teach him to be a minister. 
Then, by that time, Mr. Langworthy'U be pretty old 
and he'll be givin' up the church here and Bradley 
can take it. I always wished we had a minister in the 

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"Sakes alive 1" snapped her sister, impatiently, 
"seems to me you're countin' your chickens a good 
ways ahead. Mr. Langworthy might die to-morrer 
for all you know, or the society might bust up or 
'most anything. Besides, it'll cost somethin' for all 
that education." 

"Of course it will," said Miss Tempy, "but there's 
father's insurance money." 

"How long do you think " began Miss Prissy, 

but stopped in the middle of the sentence. 

"Well," said Captain Titcomb, diplomatically, 
"he'll go to school for a while, at any rate, and he 
might as well begin right away. How is he off for 
clothes?" he added. 

"Hasn't got any that are fit for anything but the 
rag-bag," replied Miss Prissy, with decision. "And 
that's another thing. Who's goin' to buy 'era for 
him? I'm sure / don't know what a boy needs 
to wear any more than a cat. And he's got 
to have everything. I jest wish you'd have seen 
that — that thing he was goin' to sleep in," ^e 

"I'll buy his fit-out, if you want me to," said the 
Captain. "Take him down to Weeks' store right 
now, if you say the word." 

"Oh! I wish you would. You pay Mr. Weeks 
and I'll pay you." 

"Get him nice clothes, Cap'n Ezra," said Miss 
Tempy. "The men in our family have always been 
good dressers." 

"Get sensible ones that'll wear," said the practical 



Miss Prissy. "Not any more expensive than is neces- 
sary, but good." 

They pressed the Captain to stay to dinner, or, at 
least, to return for that meal, but he declined, prom- 
ising, however, to dine with them before he went back 
to his vessel. 

"Come on, Brad," he said, entering the dining- 
room, "you and me's goin' on a cruise down town. 
Want to go?" 

Of course the boy wanted to go. He had been 
spending his time in the dining-room reading the 
poetry beneath the "Shore to Shore" picture and in 
spelling out the framed certificate over the mantel, 
vrhich testified that "Darius Allen, Master," was a 
member of the Boston Marine Society. 

Bradley put on the shabby overcoat and cap for 
the last time, and walked down to the back gate and 
along the sidewalk with the Captain. 

"Well, Brad," said the latter, "how do you like 
your new folks?" 

"First rate, sir," said the boy. 

"Pretty old-fashioned craft, but seaworthy, both 
of 'em. Did you remember to wipe your feet?" he 
added, with a twinkle in his eye. 

"Yes, sir," 

They walked on without speaking for a while, then 
Bradley, wishing to please his companion, said : 

"Those fans were awful pretty. I s'posc you 
brought 'em both alike so Miss Prissy nor Miss 
Tempy wouldn't think you liked one more than the 
other, didn't you?" 



Captain Titcomb stopped short, and looked down 
at the lad with wonder in his face. 

"Say, Bradl" he exclaimed, "how old are you?" 

"Goin' on thirteen, sir." 

"Goin' on thirteen," repeated the Captain, slowly. 

"Goin' on thir Weil, by crimustee 1 you've got 

a head on you. If you're goin' to turn so sharp 

as Say, son, I cal'late you and me was cut out 

to sail together." 

He continued to mutter to himself and to chuckle 
all the way to the store, greatly to Bradley's aston- 
ishment, for, for the life of him, the boy couldn't 
see that he had said anything so wonderfully brilliant. 

And, meanwhile, Miss Tempy seated in the rocker 
by the window and holding a fan in each hand, was 
examining them with the greatest care. 

"Prissy," she said, at Iast> in a solemn tone, 
"they're jest exactly alike." 

"Yes," said her sister, with a stifled stgh, "they're 
jest alike." 

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THE "dog girl." 

IN "Weeks' Store" was to be found an assort- 
ment of wares ranging from potatoes and 
razors to molasses and ladies' dress goods. 
Somewhere within this extensive range was a 
limited supply of what Mr. Weeks' advertise- 
ment in the Item called, "Youths', Men's and 
Children's Clothing in Latest Styles at Moderate 
Prices." The styles were "late" — about a year late — 
and the prices were moderate when the lengthy period 
of credit given to customers is taken into c<»isidera- 

Captain Titcomb, exchanging greetings with the 

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half dozen loungers by the stove, whose business 
there was, as Mr. Weeks himself said, "to swap bad 
tobacco smoke for heat," passed to the rear of the 
store, followed by Bradley. There he proceeded to 
select an entire outfit for the boy, calculated to clothe ■ 
him in successive layers, from the skin outward. 
When the pile of garments on the counter was com- 
plete, the captain and Mr. Weeks entered into a 
lengthy argument concerning pdce. There was a 
"Sunday hat" involved in the transaction, and about 
this piece of headgear the battle raged fiercest. 

"It's too much money, Caleb," said the Captain, 
finally. "I guess I'll try the 'New York Store.' Tom 
Emery's always treated me fair enough, and I'll give 
him a chance. Ccnne on. Brad." 

"I'll take off a quarter on the suit," conceded the 
storekeeper, who was loth to see so much custom go 
to a rival. 

"No," was the reply. "That ain't enough to 
amount to anything. Tell you what I'll do, Caleb. 
Throw in that Sunday hat and I'll take the lot and 
pay you cash for it, and run my risk of gitttn' the 

So the bargain was concluded on that basis. Brad- 
ley retired to the back room, and emerged clothed in 
his new garments and tremendously conscious of the 
fact. The Captain said he looked so fresh that you 
could "smell the paint on him." 

"Say, Caleb," said "Squealer" Wixon, after Cap- 
tain Titcomb and his protege had left the premises, 
"did Ez tell you who that boy was?" 

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"No, he didn't. I hinted two or three timeft, but 
he wouldn't say." 

"Well, I'll tell you. Twm the old maids' boy — 
Ben Nickerson's son. Barney said he brought him 
over in the coach last night." 

"You don't mean itl" exclaimed the chopfallen 

Mr. Weeks. "Well, if that ain't enough to 

Ez made me throw in a hat that was wuth a doUar 'a' 
a ha'f 'cause he said he'd pay cash for everything and 
take his chance of gittin' his money back. And Prissy 
and Tempy always pay cash for everything. Reg'Iar 
Titcomb trick 1" 

The loafers about the stove roared with de- 

"Oh, I tell you," remarked "Squealer," "you've got 
to keep your weather eye peeled when you're dealin' 
with Cap'n Ez. He'll have you, head and scales, if 
you ain't careful." 

"That's all right," grumbled "Bluey" Bacheldor, 
"but he'll git fetched up all standin' some of these 
days. You can call him smart if you want to, but 
it's pretty risky smartness, most folks think. You 
notice his schooner's always makin' 'record trips,* and 
he's always havin* presents give him, and jl that. 
How many presents did you have give to you, Cap'n 
Jabez, when you was runnin' a coaster?" 

"Not a one," indignantly replied the person ad- 
dressed, Captain Jabez Bailey. "Not a one. What 
I got I had to work for." 

It may be that Captain Jabez overworked during 
ills sea experiences. Certainly no one in Orham had 



known him to do a stroke of work since he retired to 
live on his wife's earnings as a dressmaker, 

"Well," commented Captain ErI Hedge, who was * 
not a member of the circle, but had dropped in to buy 
some tobacco, -"I like Cap'n Ez. He docs love to 
git the best of a bargain, and he's a 'driver' on a ves- 
sel, and perhaps he likes to shave the law pretty close 
sometimes. Ez is a reg'lar born gambler for takin' 
chances, but I never knew him to do a mean trick." 

"What do you call that game he put up on the old 
maids?" asked "Squealer, '•' "You knew 'bout that, 
didn't you, Jabez ? Seems Prissy and Tempy wanted 
to sell that little piece of cranb'ry swamp of theirs, - 
'cause it didn't pay them to take care of it and keep 
it in shape. Prissy told Seth Wingate about it and 
Seth said he didn't want it, but that he'd give 'em 
so and so — a fair price, consid'rin'. Well, they was 
goin' to sell it to Seth, but Ez comes home 'bout that 
time, hears of the deal and goes to Prissy and buys it 
for fifty dollars more'n Seth ofiered. And inside of 
three months along comes that Ostable Company and - 
buys all that land for their big swamp. They say 
Titcomb made more'n a hundred dollars out of that 
deal. If you don't think that's a mean trick, Cap'n 
Eri, you ask Seth Wingate what he thinks of it." 

"I know about that," said Captain Eri, calmly; 
"and I think it was jest another case of Ez's takin' 
chances, that's all. Seth's growlin' is only sour 
grapes. Ez knew the Ostable folks was talkin' 'bout 
layin' out a big swamp over here some time or other. 
He jest bought the Allen piece and run his risk. You 



notice Prissy and Tempy ain't findin' no fault. They 
think he's the cmly man in town. Fact is, he is the 
only man, outside of the minister, that they'll have 
any dealin's with. Queer pairin' ofi that is — Ez and 
the minister!" he chuckled. 

"Oh, women's fools, anyhow," snorted Captain 
Jabez, savagely. "Ez Titcomb always could wind 
'em 'round his fingers. He's been next door to keep- 
in' comp'ny with more girls'n a few in this town 
sence he was old enough to leave school. But he 
don't go fur enough to gil engaged or nothin' like 
that. Minute there's any talk that he's likely to git 
married to one of 'em, away goes Ez, and that's the 
end of that courtin'. And yet, spite of their talk 
'bout his bein' slick, and hints that he's tricky, they're 
always heavin' up to a feller, 'How smart Cap'n Tit- 
comb is,' and 'Why don't you make money same as 
Cap'n Ezry ?' 'Nough to make an honest man sick." 

Captain Eri made his purchases and went home, 
but the others continued to dissect Ezra Titcomb's 
character, and the general opinion seemed to be that 
he would "bear watchin'." 

Meanwhile the Captain, unconscious of all this, 
piloted Bradley to the corner of the road upon which 
the Allen sisters lived, and there left him with a mes- 
sage to the effect that he — the Captain — ^would call 
next day. Then he sought his room at the "Travel- 
er's Rest," there to read the paper of the day before; 
while the boy, with his big bundle of old clothes and 
new "extras," walked homeward alone. 



The Allen house was on the "lower road," and to 
resch It you turned the corner jtist above "Web" 
Saunders' billiard room and went on past "Lem" 
Mullett's stable, and the Methodist "buryln' ground" 
— the sects in Orham cannot, apparently, agree even 
after they are dead, for each denomination has Its 
separate cemetery — past the late Captain Saunders' 
estate and on up the hill overlooking the bay. Brad- 
ley had just reached the little house next door to the 
Aliens, when, through the side gate of its yard, there 
darted a small, ragged-looking dog, barking as if it 
went by steam. It was followed by a big dog, also 
barking, and this in turn was followed by another 
and still another. None of the animals was hand- 
some and none looked as if it was good for much 
except to bark, but each seemed to fceJ that it was its 
special duty to devour the boy before the others got a 
chance at him. 'On they came, a noisy procession, 
growling and snapping. 

Bradley put down his bundle and looked about for 
a stone, but the snow covered the road and there were 
no stones in sight. He poised himself on one foot 
and held the other ready for a kick. The dogs 
formed a circle about him and the racket was blood- 

Out of the gate darted a slim girl in a red dress, 
brandishing a broom. 

"They won't hurt you I" she screamed, running to 
the rescue. "St(^ it, Peter I Be quiet, Rags! Go 
home, Tuesday I WInfield, I'll give it to youl" 

The dogs dodged the broom and retired to a safe 



distance, wagging their tails and doing their best to 
indicate that they were only making beheve, anyhow. 
"Winfield," the small dog that had led the attack, 
was the most persistant, and he snapped at the broom 
in high glee, evidently considering that it was waved 
for his particular amusement. 

"They got away before I could stop 'em," panted 
the girl. "Grandma's gone to the store and I went 
out in the woodshed to play with 'em, and they 
bounced out of the door first thing. They don't 
mean anything; they're just full of it, that's all." 

"I wasn't scared," said Bradley. "I didn't believe 
they'd bite. I like dogs." 

"Do you?" said the girl, eagerly. "So do I. 
Grandma says she docs,, too, in moderation. The 
old maids don't, though. Oh, I forgot. You're the 
old maids' boy, ain't you? I saw you out in their 
yard with Miss Prissy this momin'.'* 

"Yes, I saw you, too. You live in here, don't 

"Um-hum. Oh, my goodness I I haven't got any 
rubbers on, and grandma said if I got my feet wet 
to-day she didn't know but she'd skin me. I must 
go right back and dry 'em before she comes. I've 
had a cold; that's why I ain't to school. How'U 
I ever get these dogs in?" 

"I'll help you if you want me to," volunteered 

"Will you? That's splendid. Come on I" 

Bradley carried his bundle to the back steps of the 
little house and then returned to assist at the dog- 

by Googk' 


catching. It wasn't an easy operation, but a tin dish, 
scientifically rattled by his new acquaintance, tempted 
all but the wary "WinHeld," and a bone finally de< 
coyed the latter inside the woodshed, and the door 
was slammed and bolted upon the humbugged pack. 

"There I" exclaimed the girl, "that's all right. I 
hope grandma won't notice the tracks in the snow. 
If she's only forgot her glasses it's all right. Now 
come into the kitchen till I put my feet in the oven. 
What's your name ?" 

"Bradley Nickerson. Most folks call me Brad." 

"That's a good name. My last name's Baker. I 
hate my first one — it's Augusta. Ain't that the 
tvorslf Grandma calls me 'Gusty.' Ugh I You can 
call me 'Gus' if you want to; it sounds more like a 
boyV name. I wish I was a boy." 


"Oh, because a boy can do things, and doesn't have 
to be 'ladylike.' If I was a boy nobody would think 
it was funny for me to like dogs, and I could have as 
many as I wanted." 

"I should think you had a good many now. 
Where did you get 'em all?" 

"Oh, just found 'em. Rags came here one day 
himself. I call him Rags because he looks as if he 
was all ravellin's. And Peter, the blacksmith gave 
to me. Said I could have him if I'd get him out of 
his sight. He sort of named himself. And Tues- 
day was named that because I found him on Tuesday 
when I was on a picnic over to East Hamiss. And 
Winfield — ^hc's the newest one — came on Cap'n Bur- 

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gess' fishing schooner and nobody wanted him, so they 
gave him to me. I named him Witifield because his 
face looks like our school-teacher — Winfield Scott 
Daniels; hateful old thing) Wouldn't he be mad 
if he knew I named a d(^ after him I You're goin* 
to school, ain't you ?" 

"I s'pose so. They haven't said anything about 
it yet." 

"I hope you will. You'll be upstairs, of course." 

"Upstairs" means, in Orham, the grammar and 
higher grades. "Downstairs" is the primary depart- 
ment. Bradley answered that he supposed he should 
be "upstairs." He was just beginning to go "up- 
stairs" in Wellmouth. 

"How do you like the old maids — Miss Prissy and 
Tempy, I mean. Ain't they awful strict?" 

"I don't know; I haven't been with 'em long 
enough to find out. They're mighty clean, ain't 

"Oh, dreadful ! And they don't like a noise and 
they don't like dogs and they don't like me. They 
call me the 'dog girl' ; I heard 'cm. One time I went 
in there for grandma, and Tuesday and Peter fol- 
lowed me and, first thing you know, they tracked mud 
all over the dinin'-room. My! but wasn't Miss Prissy 
madl But you just ought to have seen that Boor," 
she chuckled. 

Bradley thought of the spotless oilcloth and ap- 
preciated the situation. In the course of the conver- 
sation that followed, he learned that Gus was an 
orphan like himself, and that she lived there alcMrf 

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with her grandmother. Suddenly the girl snatched 
her steaming shoes out of the oven to run to the 

"I thought I heard the gate shut," she exclaimed. 
"Yes, it's grandma. P'raps you'd better dodge out 
of the other door. She'll ask questions and find out 
about my feet if you don't. Good-by; p'raps I'll sec 
you at school to-morrow." 

Bradley picked up his bundle — he had brought it 
in with him — and slipped out of the side door, pre- 
senting himself, a moment later, in the glory of his 
new clothes, to the critical gaze of the "old maids," 

And it was critical. For the next twenty minutes 
the boy sympathized with the wooden gentleman with 
the beautiful painted mustache whose business it was 
to stand before the "general store" at Wellmouth, 
with a placard attached to his coat bearing the words, 
"This style $8.50." He stood in the centre of the 
dining-room while the sisters walked in a circle about 
him and verbally picked him to pieces, bit by bit. 
Miss Prissy's final verdict was that the garments were 
"real neat and sensible." Miss Tempy was not so 

"They are nice and neat," she said, "but don't you 
think they might be a little more stylish? Blue's a 
nice solid color for the jacket, but if he had some dif- 
Frent pants, seems to me 'twould set it ofE more. You 
remember those plaid pants of father's, don't you, 
Prissy? Still, I s'pose the Cap 'n knows best." 

"Of course he does," replied her sister, crisply. 
•'There isn't a nicer-dressed man than Cap'n Titcomb 



around — that is, except the doctor and Mr. Lang- 
worthy, and thejr have to wear Sunday clothes all the 
time. Besides, we can make over some of father's 
things for him, by and by, if we want to." 

So Miss Tempy expressed herself at satisfied. As 
a final aristocratic touch, she brought from the trunk 
in the garret a large-figured silk handkerchief which, 
tucked carefully into the breast pocket of Bradley's 
jacket, with the comer artistically draped outside, was 
pronounced "just the thing." 

At half-past four that afternoon the sisters con- 
voyed the new member of their household to the 
boarding place of the school-teacher, Mr. Daniels, in 
order to arrange for the boy's entering school next 

This expedition was a very formal affair. Both 
of the ladies were arrayed in their best, with bonnets 
that were the height of fashion ten years before, and 
"dolmans" that Miss Tempy "made over" religiously 
each fall. Miss Prissy, the business manager, in- 
spected every window and door to be sure they were 
locked, and she carried with her a large carpet-bag — 
much like Bradley's — the sole contents of which were 
three extra handkerchiefs, the back-door key and the 
wallet with the leather strap. Mr. Daniels received 
them graciously, and condescended to say that he 
should expect the new pupil the following morning. 
When Bradley started for school the next day his 
head was ringing with instructions from the "old 
maids" concerning his behavior and attention to his 



"Now be a good boy, Bradley," said Miss Prissy. 

"Yes, Bradley," said Miss Tcmpy. "Remember, 
we expect a great deal of you. All our people have 
been smart scholars." 

Just as he turned into the "main road," he heard 
someone calling, and turned to see his acquaintance 
of yesterday, the girl next door, running to catch up, 
her hood slipped back from her hair and a dented tin 
pail in her hand. Being a girl, Gus carried her noon 
luncheon during the winter months, instead of coming 
home to eat it. 

"Oh !" she panted, "I'm all out of breath. I saw 
you go past the house and knew you was goln' to 
school, so I just fairly flew after you. You're goin' 
upstairs, aren't you? Did you see old Daniels?" 

"Yes, I saw him. He's a' cross-lookin' chap. Is 
he strict?" 

"You bet he is ! Give you checks if you whisper, 
and ten checks means stay in recess for a week. I've 
only got five so far. Don't you think he looks like 
Winfieid — my dog, I mean ? I had such a time with 
that dog just now. He was following me and I had 
to drive him back. He went under the shed and hid, 
but goodness knows how long he'll stay there." 

On the way to school they met another girl whom 
Gus introduced as Clara Hopkins, a "chum" of hers. 
"She's tip-top; I sit with her. She's got 'most as 
many checks as I have," was her recommendation. 

"Upstairs" at the schoolhouse was a large rown 
with rows of double desks on each side and a wide 
aiale In the centre. One side of the aisle was the 



"girls* side," and the other was for the boys. Mr. 
Daniels stiffly shook hands with the new scholar, 
asked him some questions concerning his progress in 
his studies, and showed him where he should sit. The 
more advanced pupils occupied the desks at the rear 
of the room, and the younger ones — Bradley among 
them — sat in front. Bradley's seat mate was an 
older boy than he, rather good-looking, with curly 
hair. His name, so he whispered before school be- 
gan, was Sam Hammond. 

"We will come to order," commanded Mr. Dan- 
iels, with dignity. "Position!" 

Each scholar folded his or her arms and sat back 
in the seat. 

"I will read," said the teacher, "from the Scrip- 

He did so, concluding as follows: "Amen. Sec- 
ond class in spelling." 

The second class in spelling took its place upon the 
settees at the rear of the room and proceeded to spell 
words as given out by Mr. Daniels, following each 
spelling by a definition and a sentence containing the 
word. One tall, gawky chap with red hair was given 
the word "Aspire." 

"Aspire," he shouted, "A-s-p-i-r-e, Aspire — to 
aim. The man will aspire the gun at the 

The school tittered, and Mr. Daniels pounded his 
desk with the ruler. "Ye-es," he drawled, with with- 
ering sarcasm, "that Is delightful. What a shock for 
the bird I" 



"It said it meant 'to aim high' in the dictionary," 
protested the red-haired one. 

"The dictionary is intended to be used by human 
beings, not calves," was the crushing reply. "Sit 
down, Bossy." 

The tall boy sat down with alacrity, while the 
school shouted at the official joke. 

"Bossy !" whispered Bradley's seat mate. "That's 
Tim Bloomer. Ain't he a sculpin?" 

"Samuel Hammond," observed Mr. Daniels, "two 
checks for whispering." 

At recess Bradley went out on the playground for 
a little while, but he felt rather lonesome among so 
many strangers, and so returned to the schoolroom. 
Jt was empty, the teacher taking his customary "con- 
stitutional" in the yard. After a few minutes Gus 
came bounding in, 

"Why, Brad !" she exclaimed, "whcre've you been? 
I've been lookin' for you. Why didn't you come on 

"Oh, I don't know," replied the boy. "I don't 
know any of the fellers yet." 

"Well, you're goitt' to know 'em. Oh, my good- 
ness! Winfield!" 

The stub-tailed dog sat panting at her feet, three 
inches of red tongue hanging from its mouth. 

"You naughty, naughty dog I" cried Gus, almost 
In tears. "How dare you I Go home this minute I" 

"Go home, Winfield I" commanded Bradley, com- 
ing to the rescue. 

Winfield had gone home by the shed route, already 

byGoogIc __^ 


that morning, and didn't propose to do it again. 
When his mistress tried to catch him, he retreated to 
a safe distance and wagged his tail. 

"Oh, what shall we do?" wailed Gus. "Recess is 
'most over, and if Mr. Daniels finds him here, I don't 
know what'll happen 1" 

Bradley made a dash at the dog and the latter 
itarted on the run about the room. At length they 
drove him out the "boys' door" only to have him 
reappear through the "girls' door" at the other side. 
Finally, being penned in with both doors shut and 
thoroughly frightened, he dashed into the closet 
which was between the doors, and hid behind the 

"Now," said Gus, exultantly, "you watch that 
he don't get out, and I'll crawl in after him. 
Oh, my goodness 1 there's Mr. Daniels cwnin' 

The cowhide boots of the teacher were heard on 
rhe stairs. Bradley, in desperation, shut the closet 
door upon the imprisoned Winfield. Mr. Daniels 
stepped to the rope in the entry and gave it a pull. 
The bell above responded with a single note, and the 
scholars began to pour up the stairs. 

"We will come to order," commanded the teacher. 
Bradley, glancing across the aisle at Gus, saw that she 
was as white as the whitewashed wall. 

"First class in arithmetic," said Mr. Daniels, and 
thea, from the closet, came a long, dismal whine. 
The "first class in arithmetic" stopped in its trades 
and looked aghast. The whole school — with two 

by Google 


exceptiona — pricked up its ears. The exception* 

"Ow-wow-wow I" came from the closet. Mn 
Daniels strode across the floor and opened the door. 

"Whose dog is this?" he demanded, sternly. 

No one answered. 

"Come out of that I" commanded the teacher, sar- 
agely. He reached behind the woodbox and, aetzing 
the cowering Winfield by the "scruff" of the neck, 
tossed him into the room. "Whose dog is this ?" he 

Most of the scholars knew whose d(^ it was, but 
none of them told. 

"I asked a question 1" thundered the master. 
"Who put that — *hat creature in the closet?" 

' Bradley looked at his fellow-conspirator. Then he 
held up his hand. "I did," he said. 

Mr. Daniels' mouth opened in surprise. New 
pupils did not usually begin tn this way. 

"You did?" he gasped. 

"Yes, sir. He fol I mean he came into the 

room when 'twas recess, and we — I tried to put him 
out and he wouldn't go." 

"So you shut him in the closet. Brilliant youth I 
As this is your £rst day here, I suppose I must stretch 
a point and believe it was not done on purpose. If it 
had been any other of the scholars, I should have 
made an example of 'em. I am surprised that you 
should treat your little brother" (appreciative titter 
from the school) "in such a manner. You may put 
him out." 

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It was easy enough to command, but not so easy to 
do. The dog, frightened at the crowd, backed away 
when Bradley approached. 

"Come here, Winfield," said the boy, his face 
a bright crimson. The school giggled at the 

"Winfield?" repeated Mr. Daniels. "Why that 
name, if you please?" 

"I — I don't know, sir." 

"You don't knowf" 

"No, sir." And then the boy had a happy 
thought. "He's named after Gen'ral Hancock, I 

General Winfield Scott Hancock, in his role of 
statesman, was very much in the public eye just at this 

Mr. Daniels hesitated. He more than sus- 
pected the dog's real namesake, but he wasn't sure, 
and, being a weak man, was afraid of making a mis- 

"Well, put the creature out I" he snarled, and then, 
losing his temper and aiming a kick at the dog, he 
commanded, "Git out, you brute 1" 

That kick was a mistake. Winfield wasn't used to 
kicks, and this one scattered his doggish senses com- 
pletely. He started on a panicky, yelping flight, 
hotly pursued by Bradley. Down the aisle by the 
"boys' side," across the back of the room amongst the 
feet of the "first class In arithmetic" and up the aisle 
by the "girls' side" sped the chase. At the end of 
the second lap the entire school was In an uproar. 



Mr. Daniels, white with rage, took a hand l» the 
pursuit and his efforts and those of two &-■ three 
more volunteers only made matters worse. 

At length the dog, hemmed in on both sides, hesi- 
tated in the middle of the broad aisle. Suddenly he 
darted toward the closet once more. Mr. Daniels 
leaped to Intercept him, tripped, struck the stool upon 
which the bucket of drinking water was placed and 
sprawled upon the floor in the centre of a miniature 
flood, while Winfield, leaping over him, darted 
through the entrf and down the stait*, a shrieking 

The dripping Mr. Daniels was physically cool, but 
mentally very warm indeed. "Checkf" were distrib- 
uted with liberality and two boys were "feruled" be- 
fore twelve o'clock came. One of these sufferers was 
Bradley's seat mate, Sam Hammond. 

Bradley went home alwie. When the "old maids" 
asked him Innumerable questions concerning how he 
"got along" at school, he simply answered "All 
right" and gave no details. Miss Tempy was some- 
what worried at his silence and confided to her sister 
the fear that he had been "studyin' too hard." "All 
our people have been dreadful keen students," she 

It was nearly one o'clock when the boy re-entered 
the schoolyard. As he did so a shout went up fron. 
a group near the fence. 

"Here he Is I" yelled one of the older boys, y 
"Here's your beau, Gus. He won't let 'em plagusT^ 
his girl, you bet I" 




"No," shouted Sam Hammond. " 'Gusty's all 
right now, ain't she? He'll take care of her. 

" 'Gusty had a little dog, 

It's fleece was black's a crow " 

"You shut up!" screamed Gus, breaking from the 
circle, and stamping her foot savagely. Her face 
was red and there were tears in her eyes. 

"It followed her to school one day," continued the 

"What's the matter, Gus?" asked Bradley, coming 

"Haw, haw!" laughed Sam, gleefully. "I told 
you so. Bradley'll take care of her. 

"Bradley Nickerson, so they say, 
Goes a-courtin' night and day; 
Sword and pistol by his side. 

And 'Gusty Bakcr'U be his bride."* 

"What's the matter, Gus?" he added, mockingly. 

"What is the matter?" repeated Bradley. 

"None of your bus'nesa I" snapped Gus, who was 
in no mood to be friendly with any one. "You jest 
wait, Sam Hammond! I'll fix you! Got whipped 
in school 1 Ha, ha I Cry baby 1" And she gave an 
exaggerated imitation of her enemy's facial contor- 
tions during the "feruling" that morning, 

'Come on, Gus," interposed Clara Hopkins. "He 

't worth talkin' to. Come on, I've got somethin' 
tolshbw you." 

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Gus reluctantly suffered herself to be led away 
amid the derisive hootings of Sam and his friends. 

"Ain't you goin' with her?" asked Sam, provolt- 
ingly. "She wants her Braddy, so's to take care of 
her if Winfttld comes to school again." 

Bradley's temper was slow to rise, but it was rising 

"Who are you talkin' to?" he demanded. 

"You. Who do you s'pose?" 

"Weil, you'd better shut up." 

"/ had? S'pose I don't want to?" 

"Then I'll make you — that's what I" 

"You will?" 

"Yes, I will." . 

"You ain't the size. Take's a man, not a monkey.** 

"I'll show you whether I'm the size or not." 

"You will?" 

"Aw, gee!" said one of the bigger boys. "I 
wouldn't take that from no Wellmouth kid, if I was 
you, Sam." 

"Nor I, neither," said another. 

Thus encouraged, Sam bristled up to his opponent 
and looked down at him snecringly. Bradley didn't 
give way an inch, and the two boys rubbed jackets as 
they moved slowly about each other. The surround- 
ing grotq) looked delightedly expectant. 

"Stop your shovin'I" commanded Sam, giving his 
enemy a push with his shoulder. 

"Stop yourself," said Bradley, pushing back. 

"I'll put a head on you so's the old maids won't 
know you." 



"I'll make you snivel worse'n you did in school this 

"Well, Sam!" exclaimed a spectator, in huge dis- 
gust; " 'fore I'd take thati" 

The Hammond boy did not really want to fight, 
but, thus goaded, he suddenly gave Bradley a violent 
push with both hands. The next instant both young- 
ters were clasped tightly together, gripping each 
other about the neck and wrestling savagely. In a 
moment they fell with a thump and rolled over and 
over, pounding, kicking and scratching. The snow 
flew and the crowd whooped and pushed and strained 
to see better. 

Then there was a rush, a frightened scurry, and 
both combatants were pulled apart and jerked to their 
feet, while Mr. Daniels, holding each by the coat col- 
lar, glared down upon them. 

"You may come with me," he said, with chilling 

The scene in the schoolroom that followed was 
brief but exciting. Bradley held out his hand and 
bit his lip stubbornly while the ferule descended — i 
(Hicc — ^twice — twelve times. 

"There!" said the teacher. "Now you may take 
your seat. For a new scholar you begin extremely 
well. Now, Samuel!" 

The Hammond hand having received its share of 
beating, and its owner also sent to his seat, Mr. 
Daniels said : "Both of you will lose your afternoon 
recess. I shall also give each of you a note, telling 
of your punishment, to take home." 

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At half-past four that afternoon, Bradley, with 
the note tightly clasped in his hand, walked dismally 
up the walk to the Allen back door. The thought 
that he had -disgraced himself forever in the eyes of 
his protectors burned like a iire under his new cap. , 
Also, there was a bitter feeling that Gus, the cause of i 
all his trouble, had not been near him to console or' 
ask pardon. 

It was typical of the boy that he had not thought 
of destroying the note. He handed it to Miss Prissy 
the moment he opened the door. She read it and sat 
heavily down in the chintz rocker. 

"My soul and body !" she wailed. "Tempy Allen, 
come here this minute ! Here I for mercy's sake read 
this I" 

Miss Tempy's agitation was even more marked 
than that of her sister. 

"Oh, oh, oh!" she cried, waving the condemning 
sheet of paper like a distress signal. "How could 
you ! how could you I I don't b'Heve a relation of 
the Aliens was ever whipped in school before. What 
shall we do, Prissy And his first day, too!" 

Bradley, with direful thoughts of self-destruction 
in his mind, twisted his new cap into a ball, but said 

"He says you were fightin' and there was somethin' 
else," said Miss Prissy. "Tell the whole story now, 
every word." 

The boy began slowly. He told of shutting the 
dog in the closet, but was interrupted by the older 
sister, who demanded to know whose dog it was. 



THE "last day." 

WHEN the Captain called, which he did the 
nextforenoon,the tale of Bradley's event- 
ful first day at school was told him In all 
its harrowing completeness. Miss Prissy — by previ- 
ous agreement — acted as story-teller, and Miss 
Tempy was a sort of chorus, breaking In every few 
moments to supply a neglected detail, or comment on 
a particular feature. 

"And we didn't know what to do," concluded Miss 
Prissy. "He wan't goin' to tell us whose dog it was, 
and *' 

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"I don't b'lieve he ever would have told," broke in 
Miss Tempy, "if that 'dog girl' herself hadn't come 
bouncin' in, and " 

"And he won't promise not to speak to her again, 
neither," continued the older sister. "We sent him 
to bed without any supper " 

"That is, any real supper," interrupted the chorus. 
"Of course we took up some cookies and things when 
we found he wouldn't come down, but— " 

"And he won't promise this momln', and he went 
to school without promisin'. What do you think we 
ought to do, Cap'n Titcomb?" 

"Yes, Cap'n," Miss Tempy joined in the appeal. 
"What do you think we ought to do?" 

"Well," replied the Captain — he had listened to 
the recital with a very solemn face, but there was a 
twinkle in his eye — "well, I don't know. It makes 
me think of what the old man — dad, I mean — said to 
me once, when I was a little shaver 'bout Brad's age. 
The old man was a great feller for horses and, when 
he give up goin' to sea, he used to always have two or 
three horses 'round the place, and there was gin'rally 
a colt to be broke. You never had much dealin's with 
colts, I s'pose?" 

"No," answered Miss Tempy, thoughtfully. 
"Long's father lived we kept a horse — Dexter was 
his name — but I s'pose he wasn't really what you'd 
call a colt." 

Captain Ezra — he remembered the ancient and 
wheezy Dexter — gravely agreed that the latter was 
not precisely a colt. 



"Wei!," he continued, "I always thought I was 
pretty nigh as smart as the next feller, and I was for- 
ever teasin' the old man to let me break one of the 
colts. Finally he let me try it. After I'd had a 
lively ten minutes or so, and was roostin' heels up in 
a snarl of rosb'ry bushes, with the colt grinnin' at me, 
so's to speak, over the stone wall, the old man come 
loafin' up, and he says: 

" 'Ez,' he says, 'what you doin', — restin'? Better 
git up, hadn't you, and take another try? The colt's 
ready,' he says. 

"I stopped picking the rosfa'ry briars out of my 
face, and tried to grin, and told him that I guessed 
I'd had enough. 

" 'Oh I' says he, 'you mustn't talk that way. It's 
a mutual breakln',' he says, 'and you and the colt are 
jest gittin' usrd to one another's little ways.' 

"P'raps that's the way 'tis here," continued the 
Captain. "Brad and you two ladies are jest gittin' 
used to each other's little ways. Of course you must 
remember it is only a colt you're handlin'. I think 
the boy's aU right, and I don't object to his stickin' 
by those that he thinks stuck by him. Par's the girl's 
concerned, she always struck me as a pretty trim little 

"She's noisy and a tomboy," said Miss Prissy, de- 

"Yes," said Miss Tempy; "and she likes those 
dreadful dogs." 

"Um--^hum," answered their visitor, with unim- 
peachable seriousness. "Of course that's a terrible 



drag, but maybe she'll cut 'em adrift when she gi'ts 
older; she's only a colt, too," he added. 

"Well, we don't like her," said Miss Prissy, with 
decision. "And we wish you'd speak to Bradley 
about it. You know," she added, looking down, "I 
put a lot of dependence in your judgment, Cap'n 

"So do I," said Miss Tempy, quickly; "jest as 
much as Prissy does. I b'lieve in you absolutely^ 
Cap'n Ezra." 

"Yes, yes, of course," hurriedly replied the Cap- 
tain. "Well, I'll speak to the boy, by and by, and 
see what I can do." 

In response to the pressing invitation of the sisters, 
he reluctantly agreed to stay to dinner. That dinner 
was a marvel. Bradley saw that his supper, the 
night of his arrival, was a mere beggar's crust com- 
pared to the spread that noon. In fact, it did no* 
take him very long to notice that not even the 
minister's appetite was tempted with the array of 
special dishes, puddings, cakes and preserves, that 
were always in evidence when the Captain was a 

After dinner, when the boy started for school 
again. Captain Titcomb walked with him a part of 
the way. The Captain had a married sister living 
"down at the Neck," but he did not make his head- 
quarters at her htwnc, preferring to keep bachelor's 
hall at his room at the Traveler's Rest, during his 
infrequent shore leaves. "I always feel more inde- 
pendent on my own deck," was the way he expressea 



it. "Then I can cuss the steward, when ii's necessary, 
without startin' a mutiny." 

"Brad," he said, as they came out of the Allen 
gate, "what's this I hear 'bout you gittin' the rope's- 
end yesterday? Never mind spinnin' the whole yarn; 
I cal'late I've heard the most of it. You and the 
Hammond boy had a scrimmage, too, didn't you?" 

"Yes, sir," said Bradley, dt^gedly. 

"Hum I Think you'd have licked him if the skip- 
per hadn't took a hand?" 

Bradley looked up at his questioner, saw the twin- 
kle in his eye, and answered, with a sheepish grin: 
"Don't know. Guess I'd have tried mighty hard." 

The Captain roared. "I presume likely you 
would," he chuckled. "You look to me like one of 
the kind that sticks to a thing when you've started in. 
Well, you needn't tell the folks at home that I said 
it, but I've had the advantage of bein' a boy myself 
— which they haven't — and I know there's times 
when a feller has to fight. I've gin'rally found, 
though," he added, "that it's better to go a consid- 
'rable ways in agreein' 'fore you knock a man down. 
It pays better, for one thing, and don't git into the 
papers, for another. I understand you've sort of 
took that little Baker craft, next door, in tow. She 
seems like a smart girl; do you like her?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"I jedge Prissy and Tempy wouldn't enter her for 
die cup. Now, Brad, mind 1 ain't coaxin' you to go 
back on a friend, but the old mai — that is, your ladles 
at home, have set out to make a man of you. They're 



your owners and you're expected to sail 'cordin' to 
their orders. If there's one thing that I've always 
stuck to it's 'Obey orders or break owners.' Some- 
times owner's orders don't jibe exactly with your own 
ideas, but never mind — they pay the wages; see?" 

"She's a good girl," said the boy, stoutly. "She 
came in and took my part when she didn't have to, 
and I like her. And I won't promise not to speak to 
her, neither." 

The Captain looked down at the lad's square jaw 
and whistled. 

"Well," he said, "I don't b'lieve you need to prom- 
ise, but don't whoop too loud about it. Run as close 
to the wind as you can, and don't carry all sail in a 
two-reef breeze jest to show you ain't afraid to. Be- 
cause a man's a good Republican, it don't follow that 
it's policy to go to a Democratic rally and tell the 
speaker he's a liar. Catch my drift ?" 

"Yes, sir," answered Bradley, rather doubtfully. 
"You mean be chums with the girl, but don't tell Miss 
Prissy and Miss Tcmpy about it." 

"No — o." Captain Ezra looked somewhat put 
out by the literal interpretation. "That ain't jest it. 

iBe — ^well, be easy, and Oh, thunder I Let it 

go at that. I guess you know what I mean. How 
do you think you're goin' to like your school ?" 

Bradley answered, "Pretty well, I guess, when I 
get more used to it;" but, although he did not say so, 
he was certain that it would take some time to get 
used to it. As a matter of fact, however, that very 
lively first day was the only serious trouble for him 



during that entire term. He was quick to leam, and 
so found little difficulty with his studies, and advanced 
as rapidly as other boys of his age. As for his be- 
havior, it was no worse than that of any other healthy 
youngster. At the end of the year he was "promoted" 
— that is, he was no longer a member of the fourth 
class, but instead proudly left his seat when the third 
was called. 

Gus was "promoted" also, much to the surprise of 
the "old maids," who could not believe there was any 
good in the "dog girl." They gradually ceased to 
urge the boy not to have anything to do with her, for 
the very good reason that, in this matter, their urging 
was of no avail. They grew to understand their 
colt better as the months passed, and they learned 
just how tight a rein it was advisable to draw. 

Bradley also grew to understand the sisters. He 
discovered that Miss Prissy was the business woman, 
and that she paid all the bills, bought all the house- 
hold supplies, and did it without consulting Miss 
Tempy, whom she treated afe a sort of doll with a 
mechanism that must not be jarred. 

Miss Tempy was "delicate" — at least, she believed 
that she was. She always had a new patent medicine 
on hand, and was always sure that it was "doln' a 
world" for her. She was the household art critic, 
passing judgment on the retrimming of bonnets, 
making over of dresses and the like. Under her 
direction ihe celebrated "plaid pants" of the lamented 
Captain Darius were made over for Bradley, and 
the boy "hooked Jack" for a whole day, because he 



wouldn't wear the things to school. Gus came to 
his rescue by tipping a can of red paint over his legs 
)as they were passing the wheelwright's shop, and the 
plaid outrages were thus put out of business for- 
ever. Bradley appreciated the kindly spirit that 
decked him in the "pants," but he was thankful for 
the paint. 

Miss Tempy was romantic. She read a great deal^ 
and her favorite stories were those appearing serially 
in The Fireside Comforter, a pile of which, together 
with the back numbers of Godey's Lady's Book, were 
kept on the shelf in the sitting-room closet. In these 
stories Lord Eric wooed, and inevitably won, Evelyn, 
the beautiful factory girl, but Miss Tempy — in spite 
of repeated experiences — ^was never sure that he 
would win her, and so was in a state of delightful 
apprehension and hope during the intervals between 
installments. She loved to read these installments 
aloud, and, when they were iinished, turned to Tup- 
per and Wordsworth's poems. She read poetry 
with what she called "expression," and wind was al- 
ways "Vynd" with her. 

Captain Titcomb was the one point In which Miss 
Prissy would not efface herself in favor of her 
younger sister. Secretly, each lady had hopes that 
the Captain's calls were more than mere friendly 
visits; but, because the object of these hopes never 
allowed himself to show the slightest preference, the 
race was heartbreakingly even. But when Miss 
Tempy read of Lord Eric she always imagined tha^ 
nobleman as lodcing and acting like the Captain. 



Bradley made friends among the village boys, and 
did not make any virulent enemies. He had his in- 
terrupted fight "out" with Sam Hammond, and 
emerged a conqueror with a black eye and a swollen 
nose, which were the cause of his being in disgrace 
at home for a week. Also he joined the "Jolly Club," 
a secret society that met on Saturday afternoons in 
"Snuppy" Black's bam. 

Just why this gruesome society was christened the 
"Jolly Club" is rather hard to understand. The in- 
itiation ceremony was anything but jolly to the trem- 
bling youth who, having sworn a most blood-curdling 
oath of secrecy, was conducted blindfold to the place 
of assembly. In Bradley's case it was "Snuppy" 
himself who officiated as guide. After tying a hand- 
kerchief — not too clean and smelling of sweet-fern 
cigars — over his friend's eyes, "Snuppy" led him over 
fences and through back yards for a distance that 
seemed miles. Then, at last, they stopped and the 
guide rapped "three times fast and twice slow" on 
something that sounded like a door. 

The knocks were answered in kind by one within. 
Then a hollow voice asked, apparently through a 
speaking trumpet, "Who goes there?" 

"One of the mystic brothers," replied "Snuppy," 

"Have you the grip and countersign?'* 

"I have." 

"Then give 'em." A hand was thrust out through 
the hole cut in the door for the cwivenlence of the 
cat. "Snuppy" grasped the hand and fingered It ac- 
cording to formula. Then he stooped to the "cat 



bole** and hoarsely whispered the countersign, 

" 'Tis well, brother," proclaimed the unseen. "But 
who is with you ?" 

"One who would — would " 

"Would fain " prompted the voice. 

"Would fain join our chosen band." 

"Is he prepared to face an awful doom?" This 
woirid have been more alarming if the voice had not 
added, in an indignant whisper, "Shut up laffin', you 
fellers! D'you want to spoil everything?" 

Bradley, having announced ■ his readiness to face 
the "doom," the door was opened and he was led, 
stumbling, into what "Snuppy" Informed him solemn- 
ly was the "Hall of Torture," but which smelt like a 
bam. Then the "mystic brothers" — led by the owner 
of the voice, who announced himself as "Grand 
Chief" — proceeded to put the ncc^hyte through a 
course of sprouts that would have turned a grown 
man's hair gray. They came to a sudden end, when 
the "Grand Chief" proclaimed : 

"Boy, you are now standin' on the brink of a 
frightful precipice. Behind you is unknown depths." 

"Ain't neither, Hart Sears," was the unexpected 
reply of the victim. "I'm standin' on the beam over 
the mow. I can see down underneath this handker- 
chief and there's the hay." 

"Aw, gee I" shouted the disgusted "Grand Chief." 
"That's you all over, Snuppy I Don't know enough 
to tie a handkerchief tight 1" 

Having undergone this harrowing ordeal, Bradley 



was entitled to wear a shining badge — made by the 
tinsmith's son — that bore upon it, hammered out with 
a nail, the mystic capitals, "J. C." His worst quarrel 
with Gus and her friend, Clara Hopkins — the quarrel 
that lasted two weeks without a making up — came 
about because the new member refused to tell what 
the initials "stood for." 

During the long summer vacation there were 
chores to do, but there was also all sorts of fun along- 
shore, digging clams on the flats, spearing flat-fish 
along the edge of the channels, or rare and 
much-prized trips to the fish-weirs where the nets 
were hauled. Captain Tltcomb came home in Au- 
gust for an intended stay of two weeks, and he made 
the boy happy by taking him for an all-day sail and 
blue-tishing excursion off Setuckit Point. 

That fishing trip had unexpected and fateful re- 
sults. The Captain had called on Miss Prissy and 
her sister the morning of his arrival in Orham and, 
as was his custom, had brought each of them a pres- 
ent — exactly alike, of course. He had promised to 
dine at the Allen house the following Sunday. But it 
happened that Peleg Myrlck wanted to make one of 
his infrequent visits to the mainland that week, and 
he seized the opportunity to hail the catboat contain- 
ing Bradley and Captain Ezra, as it passed his qua- 
haug dory, and beg for a passage up. 

Mr. Peleg Myrickwas a hermit. He lived alone 
in a little two-room shanty on the beach about half a 
mile from Setuckit Point. He owned a concertina 
that squeaked and wailed, and a Mexican dog — gift 



of a wrecked skipper — that shivered all the time, and 
howled when the concertina was played. Peleg was 
certain that the howling was an attempt at singing, 
and boasted that "Skcczicks" — that was the dog's 
name — had an "ear for music jest like a human." 

Among his other accomplishments Mr. Myrick 
numbered that of weather prophet. He boasted that 
he could "smell a storm further'n a cat can smell 
fish." It was odd, but he really did seem able'to fore- 
tell, or guess, what the weather would be along the 
Orham coast, and the 'Iwigshoremen swore by his 

He was a great talker, when he had any one to 
talk to, and was a gossip whose news items were 
usually about three months old. Captain Ezra ap- 
preciated odd characters and he welcomed the chance 
to get a little fun out of Pclcg. 

"Well, Peleg," said the Captain, as the catboat 
stood about on the Brst leg of the homeward stretch, 
"what's the news down the beach? Any of the sand 
fleas got married lately?" 

"Don't ask me for no news, Cap'n Ezl" replied 
Mr. Myrick. "You're the feller to have news. You 
ain't married yit, be you?" 

"No, not yet. I'm waitin' to see which girl you 
pick out; then I'll sec what's left." 

"Well, I ain't foolin'. I thought you might be 
married by now. Last tlnM I was up to the village 
■ — ''long in June, 'twas — I see M'lissy Busteed, and 
she said 'twas common talk that you was courtin' one 
of the old maids." 



Captain TJtcomb scowled, and looked uneasily at 
his passenger. 

"She did, hey?" he grunted. 

"Yes. I told her I didn't take no stock in that. 
'Cap'n Ez,' I says, 'has been courtin' too many times 
aence I can remember,' I says. 'One time 'twas Mary 
Emma Cahoon; 'nother time 'twas Seth Wingatc's 
sister's gal; then agin 'twas '" 

"All right! All right I" broke in the Captain, 
glancing hurriedly at Bradley. "Never mind that. 
How's the quahaugin' nowadays? Gittin' a fair 

"Pretty fair," replied Peleg. Then, with the per- 
sistency of the bom gossip, not to be so easily diverted 
from his subject, he went on: "I toid M'lissy that, 
but she said there wan't scarcely a doubt that you 
meant bus'ness this time. Said you fetched presents 
every time you come home. Said the only doubt 
in folks' minds was whether 'twas Prissy or Tcmpy 
you was after. Said she was sure you was after 
one on *em, 'cause she as much as asked 'em one 
time when she was at their house, and they didn't 
deny it." 

Mr. Myrick talked steadily on this and other sub- 
jects all the way to the wharf, but Captain Ezra was 
silent and thoughtful. He shook hands with Brad- 
ley at the gate of the Traveler's Rest, and said good- 
bye in an absent-minded way. 

"I s'pose you'll be 'round to dinner, Sunday, Cap'n 
Ez ?" said the boy. 

"Hey? Sunday? Well, I dtm't know. It might 



be that I shall be called back to the schooner sooner 
than I expect. Can't tell." 

Sure enough, the next day the sisters received a note 
from their expected guest, saying that he was obliged 
to leave at once for Portland, and could not, there- 
fore, be with them on Sunday. The ladies were dis- 
appointed, but thought nothing more of the matter 
at the time. It was nearly six months before the 
Captain visited Orham again, and during this visit he 
did not come near the big house. He waylaid Brad- 
ley, however, asked him all about himself, how he 
was getting on at school, and the like, but when the 
boy asked if he, the Captain, wasn't "comin' 'round to 
see the folks pretty soon," the answer was vague and 

"Why, I — I don't know's I'll have time," was the 
reply. "I'm pretty busy, and Give 'em my re- 
gards, will you, Brad? I've got to be runnin' on 
now. So long." 

It was the same during the next "shore leave," the 
following November. Captain Titcomb saw Brad- 
. ley several times, gave him a six-bladed jack-knife, 
and took him for a drive over to the big cranberry 
swamp owned by the Ostable Company, but he did 
not call on the "old maids." So when the news came 
— ^via Miss Busteed — that Captain Titcomb had re- 
turned to his vessel, Miss Prissy sighed and put the 
fan and the other presents in a locked bureau drawer, 
and Miss Tempy began a new serial in the Comforter 
without once suggesting that its hero behaved "jest 
like Cap'n Ezra." In fact, the Captain's name was 



never mentioned by the sisters, and Bradley himself 

learned not to speak of him while at home. 

Three more years of school and vacations, with 
"chores" and sailing and cranberry picking, followed. 
Bradley was sixteen. His voice, having passed 
through the squeaky "changing" period, now gave 
evidence of becoming what Miss Tcmpy called a 
"beautiful double bass, jest like father's." He was 
large for his age and his shoulders were square. He 
was more particular about his clothes now, and his 
neckties were no longer selected by Miss Terapy. To 
be seen with girls was not so "sissified" in his mind 
as it used to be, but he still stuck to Gus and she was 
his "first choice" at parties, and he saw her hnne 
from prayer meeting occasionally. 

As for the "dog-girl" herself, she, too, paid more 
attention to clothes, and her pets — though still nu- 
merous and just as disreputable in appearance — ^werc 
made to behave with more decorum. Her hair was 
carefully braided now, her dresses came down to her 
boot tops, and Miss Tempy grudgingly admitted that 
"if 'twas .anybody else, I should say she was likely to 
be good lookin' when she grows up." « 

The "Last Day" came, and Bradley and Gus were 
to graduate. In Orham there is no Graduation Day. 
The eventful ending of the winter term is the "Last 
Day," and all the parents and relatives, together with 
the school committee and the clergymen, visit the 
school to sit stiffly on the settees and witness the 

The "old maids" were agitated on the morning of 



the great day. There was no forenoon session, and 
when Bradley — ^who had been at the schoolhouse to 
help Gus, Clara, Sam Hammond and the other older 
scholars festoon the room with ropes and wreaths of 
evergreen — came home for luncheon, he found the 
ladies gowned and bonneted, although there were two 
hours to spare before the time to start. Miss Tempy 
wore her silk mitts during the meal, and was so nerv- 
ous that she could only drink her "pepper tea" and 
eat one small slice of bread and butter. Miss Prissy 
was nervous also, but she was much more serious than 
her sister. 

"Oh, dear I" sputtered Miss Tempy. "What does 
make you so solemn, Prissy? I declare you give me 
the fidgets. Anybody'd think 'twas a funeral you 
was goin' to." 

" 'Tain't the school business that's worryin' me," 
was the reply. "I only wish 'twas." 

"Well, then, what is it. Now I come to think of 
it, you've been glum as an owl for two or three 
months. What's troublin' you? I do wish you'd 
speak out. You're jest like father used to be; keep 
all your troubles to yourself and never tell me any- 

But Miss Prissy only sighed, and her sister, too 
excited to think of other things just at present, turned 
to Bradley to ask him if he was sure he "knew his 
piece" and if the schoolroom "looked pretty." 

"Only think," she said, contentedly, "how much 
more fortunate you are than some of the other schol- 
ars, Bradley. This is only the bcginnin' of your edu- 

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cation, as you might say. Next year you'll be goin' 
to high school, over to Hamiss, and when you get 
jhrough there, you'll commence college. It's goin* 
•o be Weslcyan, too. I've set my heart on Wcsleyan, 

Miss Prissy didn't answer, and Bradley, too, wa» 
, silent. Gus was going to high school, but Clara 
Hopkins — ^whose father had died recendy — ^was not. 
Sam Hammond loudly boasted that he was going to 
. New York to enter the office of a large wrecking com- 
pany, where, as he said,-he was going to learn to be 
a diver and have all sorts of adventures. "My cousin 
Ed's a diver," he proudly proclaimed, "and he makes 
lots of money and has a great time. He says there 
ain't no sense in high school; you might as well begin 
to learn your trade now." 

Bradley, although he would not have hurt the sis- 
ters' feelings by saying so, secretly envied Sam. A 
Cape Cod boy, with the seagoing blood in his veins, 
the big water called him with the call of a master. 
He loved the ocean and the ships and the salt wind. 
The Wesleyan idea did not appeal to him in the least. 
A minister, in his boyish mind, was a poor figure be- 
side a commander of a life-saving station, like Cap- 
tain Luther Davis, or, better still, a real sea captain 
like Captain Titcomb. 

After lunch Miss Prissy unlocked the chest of 
drawers and took out a worn velvet case. 

"Bradley," she said, "you've been a good boy since 
you've lived with us, and me and Tempy have come 
to think as much of you as if you was our own sen. 



Here's somethin* that we set a great deal of store by 
and meant to keep always, but we've talked It over 
and we think you ought to have it and wear It." 

She opened the velvet case and showed a big, old- 
fashioned silver watch, the chasing on its case worn 
almost smooth. 

"It was father's watch," said Miss Tempy, "and he 
always carried it. It looks so much like him. We 
want you to wear it, and when you're at high school 
or college and look to see what time it Is, you'll think 
of us way off here at Orham, won't you ?" 

Bradley was a proud boy, and the "old maids" 
were proud of him when, with the big watch In his 
pocket and the heavy chain rattling against his vest, 
the three started for the schoolhouse. On the way 
they caught up with Gus and her grandmother. It 
was amusing to note the condescension with which 
the sisters treated the old lady. As Miss Tempy 
often said, "The Bakers are real good meanin' peo- 
ple, but the men folks have never been anythin' but 

It was agreed that the decorations were "lovely." 
The blackboards had been ornamented by Mr. Dan- 
iels with mottoes, such as "Knowledge is Power," 
done In dllferent colored chalks and surrounded by 
marvelous flourishes and flying ribbons, and impossi- 
ble birds with tails that poured from their backs like 
feathered Niagaras. 

Mr. Daniels, himself, arrayed in his best, opened 
the exercises and called upon the Reverend Lang- 
worthy to offer prayer. As the concluding "Amen" 

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was uttered, Mis3 Tempy, sitting on the settee by 
the wall, nudged her sister and whispered, "Look, 
Prissy I I do declare if there ain't Cap'n Ezra I" 

Sure enough, there was the Captain on the opposite 
settee, neatly dressed as usual, and politely nodding to 

"When did he come home ?" whispered the nervous 
younger sister. "I didn't know he was comin'. But 
then," she sorrowfully added, "we don't know any- 
thing about the Cap'n nowadays." 

Miss Prissy sedately returned the bow. "Don't 
look at him so, Tempy," she muttered. "If Cap'n 
Titconib sees fit to stay away from our house, I should 
hope we could show him we didn't care." 

Mr. Solomon Bangs, chairman of the school com- 
mittee, addressed the school. He began with a loud 
"Ahem," and proceeded somewhat after this fashion : 

"Scholars, I am — er — glad to be present on this — 
er — auspicious occasion. It is, of course, a — ahem 
— pleasure to sec you all in your seats in this school- 
room, studyin' your lessons and leamin' to be great 
and good men and women. I am sure that every 
, boy and girl here to-day realizes the — the — ^worth of 
education and leamin'. Your parents and the com- 
mittee are here because they realize it, and know what 
leamin' has been to them. Your teacher tells me that 
you have been a credit to him. I am glad to hear it. 
As chairman of the committee havin' this school 
under my charge, I esteem — that is to say — I feel sen- 
sible of my responsibilities. The voyage of life upon 
which you are about to step forth — er — embark, I 



should have said " and so on, for ten minutes. 

Mr. Daniels looked. becomingly solemn, and the visi- 
tors whispered to one another that it was a "splendid 

Then six boys from the youngest class gave a recita- 
tion, each setting forth in sing-song verse what he 
would do "When I'm a man — a man." This was 
voted "too cute for anything." 

There were more "pieces" and a dialogue. . Then 
the graduating class, the boys in their "Sunday suits," 
and the girls in white muslin with blue ribbons, had 
its turn. Sam Hammond thundered through "Spar- 
tacus to the Gladiators." Clara Hopkins recited an 
original composition on "Our Duty in Life." It was 
a very serious "duty," and was embellished with vari- 
ous flowers of rhetoric labeled "the sunrise of youth," 
"the dawn of w(»nanhood," and the like. Bradley 
bravely tackled "The Advantages of a Republican 
Form of Government," and when he finished every 
monarch on the globe was cowering beneath bis 
throne, like a cat under a sofa ; at least, if he was not 
actually cowering there, it was the opinion of the "old 
maids" that he would have been if he had heard that 
composition. Bradley's eliort was enthusiastically 
applauded, especially by Mr. Seth Wingate, who, be- 
ing a life-long Democrat, was relieved to find that the 
boy had not, as he feared, constructed an argument 
in favor of the "Grand Old Party." 

Gus had been entrusted with the "Glass Chroni- 
cles." These were an innovation for Orham "Last 
Days," the idea having been imported from Middle- 



boro by a young lady who had formerly attended 
school there, and who said that they always had 
"Class Chronicles" at schools that were "any ac- 
count." Gus's Chronicles were witty and bright, and, 
if some of the jokes were old, they had been made 
over until, like the "old maids' " dolmans, they were 
almost new again. It must be understood, of course, 
that Chronicles and compositions and "pieces" were 
delivered with the accompaniment of pump-handle 
gestures, conscientiously copied from "Fig. i," "Fig. 
2," and the rest, in the front of the Sixth Reader. 

After the school had done its part, another com- 
mittee man spoke. Mr. Langworthy said a few 
words; Mr. Daniels repeated the statement that he 
made every year, namely, that this particular graduat- 
ing elass was the best and most brilliant he had ever 
taught, and then — the "Last Day" was over. 

That evening Bradley sat reading in the dining- 
room. Miss Tempy, in the sitting-room, was going 
over, for the fortieth time since it was written, the 
wonderful argument in favor of a "Republican Form 
of Government." As her sister entered the room, 
she dropped the roll of paper in her lap and said, 
solemnly : 

"Prissy Allen, it's my belief that when that boy first 
came here and I said that I wanted him to go to 
college and be a minister, I was inspired. I declare 
I do 1 I've jest been readin' that piece of his again, 
and it beats any sermon I ever heard." 

Miss Prissy seated herself in a rocker and looked 
solemnly at her sister. For a minute she gazed with- 



out speaking. Then, suddenly, as If she had made 
up her mind, she rose, gave the dining-room door a 
swing that would have shut it completely had not the 
comer of a mat interfered, and, coming back to her 
chair, said, slowly: "Tcmpy, I'm afraid we'll never 
be able to send Bradley to college." 

The precious manuscript fell from Miss Tempy's 
lap to the floor. 

"Why — ^why, Prissy Allen I"8he exclaimed. "What 
do you mean?" 

"I mean we can't do what we've hoped to do. Oh, 
dear I I — I don't know what we'll do. Tempy, 
we've hardly got any money left I" 

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FOR a moment Miss Tempy made no reply to 
her sister's speech. Instead, she sat there 
with her eyes fixed upon Miss Prissy's face 
and her thin fingers picking nervously at 
her dress. 

"Haven't got any money?" she repeated, after a 
pause. "Haven't got any money left? Why, then — 
why, then, we'll have to take it out of the savin's bank 
up to Boston. Of course, Bradley must go to college. 
You know he must. Prissy." 

But Miss Prissy shook her head*. 
"You don't understand, Tempy," she said. "I 
ought to have talked with you about it long ago. I 

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can sec now that I ought to; but, oh, dear! father al- 
ways said you was too delicate to bother with money 
matters, and I've been used to takin' all the care my- 
self, and so I've jest gone on and on, worryin' and 
plannin' and layin' awake nights until I can't go on 
any further. Oh, Tempy," she cried, and the tears 
rolled down her cheeks, "you don't understand. The 
money in the Boston bank has all gone too. We 
haven't got more than live hundred dollars left in the 

world, and when tkafs gone 1" She waved her 

hands despairingly. 

But still Miss Tempy did not comprehend. 

"Why, all of it can't be gone I" she said. "All of 
the insurance money and everything! Why, it was 
five thousand dollars I" She mentioned the sum rev- 
erently and in an awestruck whisper. 

"Yes," said Miss Prissy, trying hard not to be im- 
patient; "yes, 'twas five thousand dollars and father 
died over ten years ago, and we've been livin' on it 
ever since." 

"But five thousand dollars, Prissy I Five thou- 
sand " 

"Oh, my soul and body I Anybody'd think 'twas 
a million. Jest think, now; jest think! We've lived 
on it for prety nigh eleven years; paid for our clothes 
and livin' and havln' the house oainted six years ago, 
and " 

"But it needed paindn'.'* 

"Needed itl I should think it didl But it cost 
inore'n we'd ought to spend, jest the same. Oh, it's 
more my fault than an^ody's. Long's father lived, 



the place was kept up, and you and me was used to 
havin' things as good as our neighbors, and I went on 
and on, never thinkin' we was too extravagant, until, 
all at once, the money that we first put in the Hamiss 
Bank was used up. And then it come home to me, as 
you might say, and I realized what we'd been doin'. 
Oh, I've tried and tried ; scrimped here and pinched 
there. What do you s'pose I sold the woodlot for? 
And then the cran'by swamp ?" 

"Why, you said we didn't need 'em, and it was too 
much trouble to run 'cm." 

"Said! Oh, I don't doubt I said all sorts of things 
to keep you from knowin'. But I sold 'em to help pay 
the bills. And then you was took down with the 
typhoid, and there was that big doctor's bill; and 
then Bradley came and he had to have clothes and a 
little money to spend like the other boys. And now I" 

Miss Prissy choked, tried to go on, and then broke 
down and cried heartily and without restraint. 

In all the years since the death of Captain Allen 
Miss Tempy had never seen her common-sense, prac- 
tical sister give way like this. The sight alarmed her 
much more than the story of the financial situation 
had so far done. She didn't fully understand the lat- 
ter even yet, but every one of Miss Prissy's sobs was 
to her a call for help that needed an immediate an- 

"There I there 1 there I dear I" she said, running to 
the other rocker and putting her arm around her sis- 
ter's neck. "You poor thing! You mustn't cry like 
that. You've jest worried yourself sick. You're all 

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worn out. I shouldn't be surprised if you've got a 
little cold, too, in that draughty schoolhouse. Let me 
make you a good, big cup of pepper tea right away; 
now do." 

Miss Prissy turned a sob into a feeble laugh. 

"Oh, dear mc, Tempy," she said, laying her handi 
on the other's arm, "I b'lievc you think pepper tea'll 
cure anything — even an empty pocketbook. I wish 
'twould pay bills ; then, I dmi't know but I'd drink a 
hogshead. But it won't, nor cryin' won't either. Set 
down, and I'll tell you jest how things are." 

So Miss Tcmpy, reluctantly giving up the "pepper 
tea" idea for the present, went back to her chair,, and 
Miss Prissy continued. 

"The money in the Boston savin's bank is gone," 
she said, "and a year or more ago I wrote to the 
broker folks that bought the bond for us when father 
died, and they sold it for me and got a little less than 
a thousand dollars for it. I put the money into the 
bank at Hamlss, and though I've tried my best to be 
economical, there ain't but five hundred and eighty 
left. That, and the place here, is all we've got." 

In a bewildered fashion Miss Tempy strove to 
grasp the situation. 

"Then we're poor," she said. "Real poor, and I 
thought we was rich. Well, I shall give up that new 
bonnet I was goin' to have next spring, and I s'pose 
I hadn't ought to subscribe to the Comforter cither. 
I did think so much of it !" 

"I'm afraid we'll have to give up more than the 
Comforter, Tcmpy. I've thought and thought, till 



my poor head ts nearly worn through. We might sell 
the place, here, but 'twould be like sellin' our everlast- 
in' souU — if 'tain't unreligious to say it — and, besides, 
property at Orham is so low now that we'd only get 
ha'f what it's worth, and when that money's spent 
there wouldn't be anything left." 

"Sell the place 1 Father's place! Why, Prissy 
Allen, how can you talk so I Where would we live ?" 

"Well, we might hire a little house down at South 
Orham or somcwheres." 

"South Orham ! Where all those Portuguese and 
things live? I'd rather die." And it was Miss 
Tenjpy's turn to cry. 

"You needn't cry for that, Tempy. We won't sell 
yet a while. Not till there's nothin' left. But we 
can't have the bam shingled, and as for Bradley's 
gotn' to college, that, I'm afraid, is out of the ques- 

"Oh, dear I dear! And the bam looks awful. 
Melissy Busteed was sayin', only last week, that folks , 
was wond'rin* when we was goin' to have it fixed. 
And poor Bradley I My heart was set on his bein' a 
minister. I don't know but I'd live in the poorhouse 
to make him (Hie. They say Mr. Otis keeps a real 
nice poorhouse, too," she added. 

Miss Prissy smiled dolefully. "It hasn't got to the 
poorhouse yet," she said. "And I hope we can send 
Bradley through high school anyhow. But we'll have 
to scrimp awful and we must try to cam some money. 
I was talkin' to Abigail MuUett at the church fair last 
August, and she spok'? about those aprons and one 



diing another that I made, and said she never saw 
such hemmin' and tuckin'. She said she'd give any- 
thing if she could get somebody to do such work for 
her in the dressmakin' season. I've been thinkin* 
maybe she'd put out some of her work to me if I 
asked her to. She does more dressmakin' than any- 
body around; has customers 'way over to Ostable, and 
. keeps three girls sometimes. And you know how the 
summer folks bought those knit shawls of yours, 
Tempy? Well, I don't doubt you could get orders 
for lots more. We'll try, and we'll let Bradley start 
at high school and see how we make it go." 

So Miss Tempy brightened up, and in a few min- 
utes she had, in her mind, sold so many shawls and 
Miss Prissy had done so well with her hemming and 
tucking that she saw them putting money in the bank 
instead of taking it out. In fact, she was getting rich 
so fast, in her dreams, that her sister didn't have the 
heart to throw more cold water at this time. And 
even Miss Prissy herself felt unwarrantably hopeful. 
She had borne the family burdens so long that to 
share the knowledge of them with another was a great 
relief. They discussed ways and means for a half- 
hour longer, and then Miss Tempy insisted on getting 
that "pepper tea." 

"I honestly believe," she said, "that if I hadn't took 
pepper tea steady for the last four or five years I 
shouldn't be here now. That and Blaisdell's Emul- 
sion has given me strength to bear most anything, 
even the prospects of the poorhouse. Thank good- 
ness, I've got a new bottle of Emulsion, and pepper 



tea's cheap, so I shan't have to give that up, even if 
we are poorer'n Job's turkey." 

"All right," sighed Miss Prissy. "If it'll make 
you feel any better to parboil my insides with hot 
water and pepper, fetch it along. Don't say anything 
to Bradley about what we've been sayin'. 'Twon't 
do any good, and will only make the poor child feel 

But Bradley was not in the dining-room. The book 
he had been reading was turned face downward on 
the table, but he was gone, and so was his hat. 

"Why, I never 1" exclaimed Miss Tempy. "He 
never went out an cvenin' before without sayin' any- 
thin' to me or you. What do you s'posc is the mat- 

"You don't think he heard what we said, do you ?" 
anxiously asked her sister. "I thought I shut the 

"You did shut it, but, now you speak of it, seems 
to me I remember it wasn't latched when I come out 
jest now. I hope he didn't hear. He's such a sensi- 
tive boy; jest like all the Aliens." 

"The "pepper tea" was prepared — a double dose 
this time — and the sisters sat sipping it. Miss Prissy 
with many coughs and grimaces, and Miss Tempy 
with the appreciation of a connoisseur. After a mo- 
ment's silence she said: 

"Prissy, do you know what I've been thinkin'? 
I've been thinkin' what a blessin' 'twould be if we had 
Cap'n Titcomb to go to for advice now." 

"Humph ! If I've thought that once, I've thought 



it a million times in the last year," was the decided 

It was after ten o'clock, and only Bradley's absence 
had prevented the ladies from going up to bed, when 
the outside door of the dining-room opened, and the 
missing boy came in. 

"Bradley Nickerson, where've you been ?" ex- 
claimed Miss Tempy, running to meet him. "We've 
been pretty nigh worried to death. Why don't you 
shut the door ? Who's that out there ? Why — why, 
Cap'n Titcombf" 

"What's that?" cried Miss Prissy, hurrying in. 

"You don't mean Well ! Good cvcnln', Cap'n 

Titcomb; won't you step in ?" 

The Captain accepted the invitation. He was a» 
much embarrassed as the "old maids," even more so 
than Miss Prissy, who immediately, after a swift, 
sidelong glance of disapproval at her agitated sister, 
Assumed an air of dignified calmness. 

"How d'ye do, Prissy?" stammered the Captain. 
"Tempy, I hope you're well. Yes ; I'm feelin' fair to 
middlin'. No, thanks; I ain't goin' to stop long; it's 
pretty late for calls. Fact is. Brad here's got some- 
thin' to say. Heave ahead, Brad." 

The boy, too, was embarrassed, but as the two 
looked at him expectantly, he fidgetted with a button 
on his jacket and said : 

"Miss Prissy, I didn't mean to listen, but the door 
wasn't shut tight, and I couldn't help hearing what 
you and Miss Tempy were saying a little while 



"There!" exclaimed Miss Tempy. "I was afraid 
of that door. You remember I said so, Prissy." 

But Miss Prissy didn't answer; she merely looked 
at Bradley. 

"I heard what you said," nervously went on the 
boy, "and when you told about — about what you was 
going to do so's I could go to high school, I-~I 
thought first I'd come right in and tell you you 
mustn't. But then I thought you wouldn't believe I 
meant it, or wouldn't pay any attention to it if I did, 
so I went outside to think it over by myself. And 
then—then I went right up to see the Cap'n." 

"I hope," said Miss Prissy, sternly, "that you 
didn't repeat our talk to Cap'n Titcomb without tell- 
in' us you was goin' to." 

"No, no; he didn't," hastily broke in the Captain. 
"He didn't tell a word. You've got a pretty fair kind 
of boy here, if you want to know," he added, with 
more than his usual enthusiasm. 

"Hum I" was Miss Prissy's only comment. "Go 
on, Bradley." 

"All I told him was," said Bradley, "that I didn't 
think it was right for me to go to school and college 
when I ought to be earning some money. I'm going 
on seventeen now, and lots of fellows I know are 
going to work. I don't b'Heve I'd make a very good 
minister," with a look of appeal at Miss Tempy, "and 
I'd a good deal rather go to sea. All our folks have 
been to sea. My father and ray grandfather. Yes, 
and your father, too, you know." The last as a happy 

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"Don't you think that we know best what " 

began Miss Prissy, but the Captain again interrupted 

"Let him spin his yam, Prissy," he said. "Notliin' 
is settled yet, so don't worry." 

"So I went to the Cap'n," went on Bradley, "and 
asked him if he'd take me on board his schooner. I 
ain't a sailor, but I know a lot about boats, and I don't 
get seasick even when it's mighty rough; do I, Cap'n 

"No," replied Captain Titcomb, gravely. "You 
manage to keep your cargo from shiftin' pretty well 
for a gi'een hand." 

"And he said he'd take me as a kind of cabin boy ; 
didn't you, Cap'n? And learn me things, and get me 
advanced as soon as I was lit for it. And he'll pay 
me wages, too; right away. There! And I won't 
cost you a cent more. Please let me go ?" 

"Well, I neverl" exclaimed Miss Tempy. She 
would have continued, but her sister spoke. 

"It seems to me," said the latter, "that you would 
have done better by us, Bradley, if you'd asked our 
advice before you went to Cap'n Titcomb or anybody 
else. We'd planned to give you a good education, so's 
you might amount to somethin' tn this world. Sea- 
goin' is all right — the land knows there's been enough 
of it in our family — but everybody says it ain't what 
it used to be, and it's a dreadful hard life. Boy on a 
schooner, even with the Cap'n here, ain't much of a 
place. It'll be a good while 'fore you amount to 
much or make much money." 



Bradley would have replied, but Captain 'HtctMnb 
held up his hand. 

"Brad," he commanded, "go into the galley and 
shut the door." 

The boy didn't hesitate; he obediently turned and 
went into the kitchen. The Captain looked after him 

"I like a chap that obeys orders," he observed. 
"Prissy, you and Tempy know me, and you know I 
like Brad and want to sec him do well. But I want 
to tell you this: I've seen lots of boys, and I was one 
myself, and if a boy gits the salt water notion into his 
head, nothin'll git it out but a good-sized dose of that 
same water and a first mate and a rope's end. 
'Twon't git it out then, if he's really got the disease, 
but it'll prove whether it's growin' pains or the genu- 
ine rheumatics mighty quick. The old man — dad, I 
mean — was all for makin' a doctor out of me, but 
when he caught me one night with my duds tied up in 
a newspaper ready to run away and ship on a cattle 
boat, he give in. 'Sarah,' he says to mother, 'I've 
done my best to raise a pill-peddler, but it looks as If 
'twas nothin' but a lob-scouser after all. All right,' 
he says; 'if you're dyin' to eat salt-hoss and smell 
bilge, you can do it, but you'll do It under somebody 
that I know, and not on a fioatin' barnyard. Cap'n 
Tim Mayo'Il take you, If I ask him to,' he says, 'and 
if he don't work the taste for pickle out of you, then 
there ain't nothin' that can,' he says. 

"Well," continued the Captain, with a twist of his 
mouth, "Cap'n Tim tried; I'll say that for him. I'll 

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(i«/er forgit that first v'yage. But when I come 
home and told the old man I was goin' ag'in, he held 
up his hands. 'That settles it,' says he; 'you're goin' 
to be the same kind oi a foot that I am and my father 
was afore me. It's the Lord's doin's, and I'm thank- 
ful I can shift the blame onto Him,' he says. 

"So with Brad. If ht's bound to go to sea, he'll 
go, sometime or 'nother. It was my idea to take him 
as a sort of mixture of roustabout and cabin boy, and 
try him out. If it don't cure him, why, I need jest 
such a feller as he is to make a mate of some of these 
days. If it does he's only wasted a summer vaca- 
tion and got a little cash for it. Seems to me it's- 
worth the try. You think it over, and send me word 
up at the Trav'ler's Rest. I'll be there for the next 
week or so. Well, I mustn't stop any longer. Good 

"But, Cap'n," faltered Miss Tempy, avoiding her 
sister's eye, "won't you set down jest a minute to— to 
rest yourself 'fore you go back hwne?" 

"No, thank you," was the quick reply. "It's git- 
tin' so late now that if I ain't careful I'll have to git 
up afore I go to bed, like the Irishman Eri Hedge 
tells about. I hope you won't think I'm pokin' my 
oar into this bus'ness of Brad's. It's jest as I say; I 
like him, that's all. Well, all right. Tell him if he'» 
headed up my way to-morrer he'd better drop in and 
have another talk. So long." 

They watched him go down the walk and up the 
moonlit road. Then Miss Prissy shut the door, and, 
after calling Bradley from the kitchen, they ad- 



journed to the sitting-room. Lxmg after the boy had 
been sent to bed the sisters sat in their rockers, talking 
of him, of his future and what it was wisest to do. 
They talked of the Captain, too, but only so far as 
Bradley's sailing with him was ccmcemed. It was not 
until they were on their way upstairs that Miss Prissy 

"Tempy, I'm wonderin' if Cap'n Ezra's comin' 
here to^iight means that he'll come often, like he used 

"Was you wonderin* that?" asked Tempy. "I 
was, too, but I didn't s'pose you'd like it if I said any- 
thing 'bout it. You was so dreadful cool when he 
was here." 

But the Captain did not again visit the Allen hc»ne, 
although next day Bradley called on him at his room 
in the hotel. They talked of the proposed plan, of 
course, but Captain Titcwnb did not urge its accept- 
ance. On the contrary, he spoke very plainly of the 
disagreeable features of a sailor's calling, and hinted 
that being aboard a vessel was like being in jail. 
"Only," he said, "there's always a chance for a feller 
to break out of jail." 

At the end of the interview he said : "Brad, I ain't 
askin' any questions 'bout what made you take this 
sudden fit, but I'd like to know this : Do the old maids 
know 'bout that Sampson fund for sailors' children? 
They could git over a hundred a year out of that if 
they applied for it, you understand?" 

"I don't believe they'd take a cent, if it was any- 
thing like charity," replied the boy. "Miss Prissy 



especial; she's awful down on folks that she says are 
living on charity." 

*'Um, hum ! I see. Well, I know a feller that's 
(me of the head cooks and bottle-washers of the Samp- 
son crew. Maybe I could rig it so's Well, never 

mind ; don't say nothin' yet." 

Three days later it was settled; Bradley was to go 
to Boston the following Monday with Captain Tit- 
comb and ship with him as the combination "boy and 
roustabout" for a period of three months. Really, it 
was settled when the Captain suggested it, but it took 
some time for the "old maids" to formally make up 
their minds to the decided change and for Miss 
Tempy to get rid of her desire for a clergyman in the 

"Well, Prissy," she said, "if we can't have a minis- 
ter, I think I'd rather have a sea cap'n than most any- 
thing else. You see, there's always been at least one 
cap'n among the Aliens. P'raps Bradley — he's so 
smart — ^will git to be cap'n of a great steamer like one 
of the Fall River boats. P'raps he really will be 
cap'n of a Fall River boat. Jest think I Then you 
and me might go to New York again ; or, if Bradley 
took us to New York for nothin', p'raps by that time 
we could afiord to go on an excursion from New York 
to Washington. It's been one of my dreams to go to 
Washington and see the President and the Washing- 
ton Monument and the Senators and all the relics in 
the Smithsonian Institute." 

Bradley told Gus the great news as soon as it was 
officially announced by Miss Prissy. Gus was disap- 



pointed because her "chum" was not going to high 
school with her, but she rejoiced with him upon his 
freedom from the ministry. 

"I'm glad you're not going to be a minister," she 
said. "That is, if you had to be one down here in 
Orham. I should hate to have you living on five hun- 
dred a year and donation parties, and your wife 
scared to death every time she had a new hat for fear 
Melissa Busteed and the rest would say she was too 
extravagant. You're going to go to places and see 
things. I wish I was, instead of staying here to study 
lessons and read the Item to grandmother. 'Cap'n 
J(»iadab Wixon has treated his henhouse to a new 
coat of whitewash.' And thai grandma wants to 
know what I s'pose he paid for the whitewash. 
Ugh I" 

"You'll have good times over at Hamiss," said 
Bradley, reflectively. "There's lots of fellows and 
girls go to high school there." 

"Yes, I s'pose so; but I'll miss you and Clara. 
Write to me, won't you ? I want to hear from you, 
of course, and besides, it's fun to go to the postoffice 
and get letters of your own." 

"Yes; I'll write. And you'll write to me, won't 

"Yes; I'll write and tell whose cow is dead and 
how many summer boarders there are in town, 
and which one of 'Hungry Bill's' children has 
got the measles. Great things to write about, 
there are down here!" she added, disgustedly. 
"Well, 1 can write about the parties I go to, if I go 



to any. I won't have anybody to go with, now you're 

Bradley had an uneasy notion that there were plenty 
of fellows that would be glad to escort her to the 
"parties." It flashed across him all at once that Gus 
was growing positively pretty. It had not occurred to 
him before ; that is, not as it did just then. It was 
one of the signs that he was getting older. 

"Well, good-bye," he said, holding out his hand. 

"Good-bye," said Gus, taking it. Then they shook 
hands, said good-bye again, and separated. Bradley 
almost wished he had kissed her, but seemed like a 
"soft" thing to do in cold blood; not like "forfeits" 
at a party, or anything like that. 

Monday morning his trunk was packed, and Bar- 
ney Small caUed to take him and it to Hamiss. The 
"old maids" wept over him, and Miss Prissy told him 
to be a good boy and write once a week at least. 
Miss Tempy said: 

"Remember, Bradley, you're an Allen now, and 
you must live up to the family. Oh, Prissy I Don't 
it seem jest like it used to when father was goin' on a 
voyage? Bradley's growin' to look so like him." 

And the sisters went into the house to cry together 

The trip to Harniss in the stage seemed much 
shorter than had that in the same vehicle four years 
before. Captain Titcomb was with him now, as 
then, and "Foolish Sol" came out to beg tobacco. 
But his opportunities were growing less, for the new 
Orhara branch railroad was even then under construc- 
tion and would be finished in another two years. 



Then came the long ride in the train to Boston. 
Bradley had been as far as Ostable (hi the memorable 
occasion when the "JoUy Club" attended the County 
Fair in a body, a visit which had caused that venerable 
institution to sit up and take notice. But he had never 
been farther in that direction, and now he watched 
while the villages and towns they passed grew bigger 
and closer together, saw in Brockton the first street 
car he had ever seen outside of pictures, saw rows 
upon rows of brick buildings, where people lived all 
together like "fiddler crabs" in a marshbank, saw 
smoke and tangled splderwebs of railroad tracks, and 
then shot under a great shed and into a big building 
where there were crowds and crowds of people. And 
It was Boston. 

Then they rode In one of the — to Bradley — ^wwi- 
derful horse cars, through crooked streets lined with 
the brick buildings, and got out In front of a place 
where rows of masts fringed a long, narrow wharf. 
Down this they walked till they came to a three- 
masted schooner sitting high in the water. 

"Brad," said Captain Titcomb, clapping him on 
the shoulder, "that's your boardln'-house for the next 
three months anyhow. She's the Thomas Doane. 
What do you think of her?" 

by Google 



THE Thomas Doane, seen from the wharf in 
the faint light of the street lamp, was a mere 
shape of blackness, with masts like charcoal 
marks against the sky, and a tangle of ropes running 
up to meet them. The windows of the after deck- 
house were illuminated, however, and as Bradley and 
the Captain stepped irom the wharf to the rail and 
from that to the deck a man came up the companion- 
way from the cabin and touched his hat. 

"Howdy, Cap'n," he said. "Glad to see you back. 
Everything runnin' smooth down home?" 




"Yup," answered the skipper. "Smooth as a smelt 
How's it here?" 

"Shipshape," was the reply. "The mainsail's been 
patched, and I've put in the new runnin' riggin' where 
you said. That fore-tops'l's been fixed, too, as well's 
we could do it. She ought to have a new one, but I 
s'pose Williams'Il think it's too expensive, won't he ?" 

The Captain's answer was a grunt that might have 
meant almost anything. 

"Brad," he said, "this is Mr. Bailey, the first mate. 
He'll be your boss, next to me, after to-morrer. Mr. 
Bailey, this is a new hand. He hasn't exactly shipped 
yet, so you needn't break him in to-night unless your 
conscience troubles you too much," 

The mate held out a hand like a ham covered with 
red sole leather, and Bradley shook it fe^irfully. 

"Relation of yours, Cap'n?" inquired Mr. Bailey. 

"Not exactly; and still, I don't know. He's a 
Nickerson, and there's mighty few Cape families that 
ain't had a Nickerson hitched to 'cm somewheres at 
MMne time. They're all over the plate, like a b'iled 
dinner. Is the doctor aboard? I'm hungry and i 
cal'late Brad could find storage room for a little 
freight somewheres." 

The cook was ashore just then, but the mate said he 
guessed he could "scratch grub enough tt^ether for 
supper." Captain Titcomb, however, declined the offer 
and said that he and Bradley would go up to an "eat- 
In' house" somewhere for this time. So, after a walk 
through more of the narrow, crooked streets, the pair 
entered a little battered restaurant with the sign "A*- 



wood's Oyster Saloon" over the door, and todc seats 
in one of a row of curtained alcoves that seemed to 
the boy more like horse stalls than anything else. 
Then the Captain ordered oyster stews and, when 
these had come and gtme, squash pie and coffee. 

After the last crumb of the pie had disappeared 
Captain Titcomb lighted a cigar, leaned back in the 
comer of the "stall" and, with his eyes half-closed 
and an odd expression about the comers of his mouth, 
gazed at Bradley in silence. At length he took the 
agar from his Hps, flipped away the ash with his Itttle 
linger, and said slowly : 

"Brad, there's a whole lot of things that a green 
hand has to learn when he goes to sea, and there's a 
whole lot more he's got to unlearn. I've been won- 
derin' whether 'twas best for me to give you the 
course, so to speak, or let you And it out for yourself. 
When I was a little shaver, mother caught me with a 
pocket full of apples that I'd hooked from old man 
Pepper's orchard that was jest over our back fence. 
She give me an awful talkln' to, but dad didn't say 
much. 'Let him alone, Sarah,' he says; 'he'll learn 
by experience.' Sure enough, in 'bout a week, in . 
marches Pepper, holdin' me by the collar with one 
hand and a big switch in t'other. 'Sam,' says he to 
dad, 'here's this boy of yours been stealin' my apples. 
If 'twas anybody else's child, I'd give him a lickin* 
that he'd remember.' Dad didn't even take his hands 
out of his pockets. All he said was, 'Well, Elkanah, 
'twill be your fault if he steals any more.' Then he 
went in the house. Pepper didn't know what to make 



of it for a minute. Then he sort of sized up matters. 
*Hum I* he says ; *I guess I won't take the responsibil- 
ity,* and when he got through the switch wan't noth- 
in* but a frazzled end, and I ain't cared much for ap- 
ples sence. 

"That was what dad called ieamm' by experience.* 
I learned my seafarin' the same way, and I ain't for- 
got the lesson. Maybe that's why I'm goin' to tell 
you a few thin^. Now, you and me on shore have 
been sort of chums, ain't we?" 

"Yes, sir," replied Bradley, puzzled to know what 
his companion was driving at. 

"All right, ^hen we're on shore we'll be chums, 
same as ever. But when we're 'board ship, I'm sldp- 
per and you're a hand; understand?" 

"Yes, sir; I guess so." 

"Don't guess — it w<m't be any conundrum. Ill be 
Cap'n Titcomb, and Mr. Bailey'Il be mate, and Mr. 
Saunders — you haven't seen him yet — he'll be second 
mate. When one of us three says, 'Nickerson, do 
thus and so,' you do it, and do It on the jnmp. Don't 
stop to think "bout it, or maybe you'll learn by expe- 
rience, the way I did. Aboard any vessel that I'm 
on there ain't any pets. One man's good's another, 
provided he does his work. Say 'Aye, aye, sir,' when 
you git an order, and don't guess at things. You ain't 
paid to do it yet awhile. Let the officers do the guess- 
in'. This is pretty plain talk, but I don't want you to 
make any mistakes. See ?" 

"Yes, sir.'* Bradley's face was very solemn. 

"All right. This seems tough now, but it saves you 



from worryin' 'bout the future, as the feller said to 
the pig afore he killed him. Come on down aboard, 
and we'll turn in." » 

As they came out on the sidewalk the Captain 
looked down at the boy and smiled. 

"Brace up, Brad," he said, giving the new hand a 
hearty slap on the back. "You'll do all right. Don't ' 

That night Bradley slept in the second mate's room 
off the cabin, but it was understood that hereafter he 
was to bunk forward with the crew. The next morn- 
ing the Captain took him up to a store on Commercial 
street, where a sailor's bag was purchased, for, so the ~ 
skipper said, nobody but a landlubber took a trunk 
to sea. It must be either a chest or a bag, and the 
chest would come later on. Bradley transferred such 
of his belongings as the Captain deemed necessary 
fr«»ii the tnmk to the bag, and the trunk itself was 
stored in the wharfinger's office until its owner should 
call for it some time in the future. 

The second mate, a thin young man, with hair and 
face both a flaming red, came oa board In the morn- 
ing, and the crew were already there. Then a tug 
took the Thomas Doane in tow and pulled her out of 
the dock and around to another wharf, where she was 
to receive her cargo of lumber. And from the mo- 
ment when the tug's hawser was attached Bradley 
began to realize what Captain Titcomb had meant by 
his advice of the previous night. 

It was "Here, boy ! stand by to take a hand with 
that rope," or "You, boy — ^what's your name — git a 



bucket and swab up tbat mess on the deck. Lively I 
D'you hear?" The cook was a little Portuguese and 
he delighted to haze his new assistant; so when, at 
nine o'clock or so, Bradley tumbled into his bunk in 
the smoke-reeking fo'castle, he was tired enough to 
drop asleep even in the midst of yams and profanity. 

The lumber, in the hold and on the decks, was at 
last on board, and one morning the schooner, with all 
sail set, passed Minot's Li^t, bound for New York. 
The afternoon of that day was a dismal experience 
for Bradley. The Thomas Doane was heavily loaded, 
and she swashed and wallowed through the good- 
sized waves with a motion so entirely different from 
that of the catboats which the boy had been used to 
that he was most heartily and miserably seasick. 

That evening, with lee rail almost awash, they were 
off the bank of the Cape, and the lights at Orham 
showed clear on the horizon. It was really a reeling 
breeze, but Captain Titcorab had a reputation for rec- 
ord trips to sustain, and he didn't reef until there was 
danger of carrying away the canvas. Bradley, for a 
moment idle, was leaning on the bulwarks, staring 
dolefully at the distant lights, when a man came close 
beside huu and said, in a half-whisper : "Well, Brad, 
how'd you like to be in the old maids' dlnin'-room 
jest about now ?" 

The new hand glanced hurriedly up and saw the 

"Very much, sir," he answered, truthfully. 

The Captain chuckled. "I shouldn't wonder," he 
said. "Never mind; swallow hard and hope you like 



it. TTiat's 'bout all a sailor lives on, is hope. That's 
why the sign of it's an anchor, I guess." 

A voice called from the galley. 

"Boy !" it wailed. "Neeckerson I Where ees that 
no good boy? Boy!" 

"Aye, aye, sir I" shouted Bradley, and jumped to 
receive a kettle of greasy dish water, the sight and 
smell of which did not make him feel any happier 
just then. 

But seasickness and homesickness were forgotten 
on the day of the wonderful sail through Ixmg Island 
Sound. They passed schooners of alt shapes and 
sizes, loaded till the decks were scarcely above water, 
or running light and high in ballast. Sharp-nosed 
schooners with lines like those of a yacht, and clumsy 
old tubs with dirty sails, with patches — ^varying from 
new white to a dingy gray — plastered all over them. 
They overtook stubby sloops, heaped with cut granite 
or brick, and steered by a big tiller, and were in turn 
overtaken or met by excursion steamers, freight 
steamers, or an occasional ocean-going tug with a 
string of coal barges towing behind. The Sound 
was a highway, a sea street, crowded with traffic, 
and through it the Thomas Doane picked her way 
serenely with a fair wind to help, and a white 
ribbon of foam trailing from either side of her 

She wasn't a new vessel — even Bradley could see 
that she was old and weather-beaten — but she was 
kept as clean as scouring could make her, and paint 
was used liberally. A man with a paint bucket and 



another with a swab were nearly always to be seen 
busy about the Thomas Doane. 

Night, and they were fast to a big wharf, with 
lights all about them; lights piled, row after row, 
up to meet the stars; tights fringing the river or 
moving up and down and across it; lights in the arch- 
ing curve of the bridge that Bradley had seen so 
often in pictures. Whistles sounding, bells ringing, 
distant shoutings, and the never-ceasing undercurrent 
of hum and roar that !s New York, breathing stead- 
ily and regularly. 

On the following morning Captain Titcomb left 
the schooner and, after an hour or two, returned with 
a sharp-eyed man who smoked continuously, although 
the wharf-signs shouted in six-inch letters that no 
smoking was allowed, and who said little but looked 
a great deal. Bradley learned from the cook, who 
had been along the water front and, having fallen in 
with some friends, was mellow and inclined to be 
confidential, that the sharp-eyed man was Mr. Will- 
iams, the junior member of the firm that owned the 
Thomas Doane and a half dozen other coasters. 

Mr. Williams and the Captain had a long conversa- 
tion in the cabin, and, after it was over, the skipper 
was a bit out of temper, and his orders were unusually 
crisp and sharp. As Bradley brought the dinner 
from the galley to the cabin that noon, he heard a re- 
mark that the Captain made in reply to a question of 
the first mate. 

"Aw, nothin' worth mentionin'," he said. "It's 
the old story. I let him know that I was mighty nigh 

by Google 


uck of ninnin* this floatin* junk shop, and wanted 
the new schooner when she was ready. He soft- 
soddered me till I felt slippery all over; told me I 
could git more out of an old vessel than any man he 
ever had, and that he jest simply couldn't shift me till 
the Thomas Doane was ready for the scrap .heap.i 
Said not to worry; the Brm appreciated what I was 
doin' and would make it right with me — and a whole 
lot more. Well, I can't kick so fur's wages go; but 
if it wan't that Williams Brothers pay me more'n 
ha'f again what most coastin' skippers git, I'd chuck 
it to-morrer and hunt a new berth." 

On one memorable evening the Captain, having 
previously whispered to Bradley to put on his "Sun- 
day togSi" sent the boy on an errand to a cigar store 
near the wharf and told him to wait there "for fur- 
ther orders." In a little while he, himself, came into 
the store, commanded Bradley to "lay alongside and 
say nothin'," and the pair walked briskly across the 
city to the elevated railway station. Then they rode 
uptown, had a six-course dinner In a marvelous res- 
taurant, where an orchestra played while you ate, and 
then went to the theatre to see a play called "The 
Great Metropolis." It was all real to jBradlcy, and 
he thrilled, wept and laughed alternately; but the 
Captain was disgusted. 

"I swan to man t" he ejaculated, as they went out, 
after the villain had becomingly shot himself, and 
the hero and heroine were clasped in each other's 
arms, "blessed if them plays with sea scenes In 'em 
don't make me sick. Did you notice that life-savin' 



business? Ship aground in the breakers, with her 
bowspit stickin' ten foot over dry land, and the crew 
took off in the breeches buoy! If they'd swung out 
<m the jib-boom and dropped, they'd have landed on 
the roof of the life-savin' station. And it thunderin* 
and lightnin' and snowin' all at the same time 1 That 
kind of weather would make the Old Farmers' Al- 
manac jealous." 

On the way down in the elevated he said, with a 
whimsical smile, "Brad, I cal'late if the old maids 
knew I took you to the theatre they'd think you was 
slidin' a greased pole to perditicm, wouldn't they?" 

Bradley smiled also as he answered: "No, sir; 
I guess they'd think if you did it 'twas all right." 

Captain Titcomb grinned, but he made no com- 
ment on the reply. All he said was: "Well, Orham's 
Orham, and New York's New York, and the way 
things looks depends consider'ble on which end of the 
spyglass you squint through. Anyhow, p'raps 
you'd better not put this cruise down in the log." 

But Bradley did put it down in the log; that is to 
say,_^he wrote a full account of this, the greatest even- 
ing of his life, in his next letter to the sisters. His 
habit of scrupulous honesty still clung to him, and he 
did not evade or cover up. If he did a thing it was 
done because he thought it right, and other considera- 
tions counted for little. 

He had received three letters from home already. 
One, from Miss Prissy, gave him all sorts of advice 
concerning his clothes, his health, and so on. Mis? 
Tempy, through sixteen pages closely written, built 



one air castle after another. He was by this time, 
in her mind, sure to become commander of an ocean 
liner, and she was now busily planning a trip to 
Europe. As for financial matters, all was serene. 
She had knit nearly half a shawl already. 

Gus wrote town gossip, spiced with comment. In 
one paragraph she said: "The whole village is talk- 
ing about your sailing with Captain Ezra. Every- 
body thinks it is a good jdce on the 'old maids.' 
Some people think it ts dreadful and that you are 
sure to be ruined. Melissa Busteed told grand- 
mother that the idea of trusting an Innocent young 
man to such a 'worldly critter' as the Captain was a 
'cryin' sin.' She said somebody ought to warn Prissy 
and Tempy against him, and that she didn't know but 
it was her duty to do it herself. I don't think it 
would be very healthy for her If she did, do you ?" 

Occasions like the theatre trip were few and far 
apart. For the most part, Captain Titcomb was 
skipper and Bradley was the "hand." With every 
voyage, sometimes to Portland, to Portsmouth, to 
Boston, and, of course, to New York, the boy learned 
new things about his chief officer and to understand 
him better. 

He learned why it was that the Captain received 
«o many presents and was considered such a "slick 
article." His acquaintance among seafaring men 
and ship owners was lat^e, and he was always ready 
to do "little favors." Sometimes a captain, just in 
from a foreign cruise, had, hidden away, two or three 
pieces of silk, or jewelry, or even, in one case, a piano. 



that were intended for gifts to the folks at home, and 
to the cost of which the custom house duty would be 
an uncomfortable addition. Then Captain Titcomb 
visited that ship, purely as a social function, and when 
he came away the jewelry or silk came with him. In 
the piano affair, it was bribery pure and simple, with 
the addition of a little bullying of an inspector who 
had made a few slips before that the Captain knew of. 
Petty smuggling like this Captain Titcomb did not 
consider a sin worth worrying about. There was a 
smack of adventure in it and the fun of "taking 
chances," that Captain £ri had mentiCHied. 

Then, as a bargainer and a driver of sharp trades 
with shipping merchants and others, the Captain was 
an expert. He liked, as he said, to "dicker," and, 
besides, he was always on the lookout to further the 
interest of his owners. Looking out for the owners 
was his hobby and explained, in a measure, why Will- 
iams Brothers were willing to pay him more than 
they paid their other skippers. 

He was a "driver" with his crews, and every par- 
ticle that was in the rickety Thomas Doane he got 
out of her. He was easy so IcHig as a man obeyed 
orders, but at the slightest hint of mutiny things hap- 
pened. There was one instance of this on Bradley's 
first trip out of New York to Portland. 

There was a big Swede among the crew, a new 
hand, who had shipped in Boston. He had been as 
meek and as docile as a truck horse all the way over, 
but early on the morning when the schooner was pass- 
ing through Vineyard Sound bound east, Bradley, 



from the door of the galley, saw Saunders, the second 
mate, in consultation with Mr. Bailey. The pair 
looked troubled and kept glancing at the fo'castle 

Finally the Brst mate walked forward and called 
down the hatch, "Hey, you, Swensen I Tumble up 
here, lively!" 

The watch on deck looked interested. From the 
fo'castle came a growl from Swensen, and a smoth- 
ered laugh from some one else. 

"Lively, now I d'you hear?" shouted Mr. Bailey. 
"Tumble up! If I come down there you'll have to 
be carried." 

After a moment of silence there was the sound of 
heavy boots on the ladder and the Swede appeared. 
His eyes were bloodshot and ugly and he staggered 
a little as he walked. Mr. Saunders stepped forward 
and stood at the side of his fellow-officer. 

"Wherc'd you git your rum?" demanded Bailey. 
"Roust out that bottle and heave it overboard." 

Swensen looked sullenj but didn't answer. 

"Roust out that bottle," repeated the first mate. 
"D'you hear?" 

The Swede clenched his fists. His little eyes were 
half closed and he glanced swiftly at the two mates. 
The sailors on deck had stopped work to watch the 
proceedings, and there was a head or two at the 
hatch. It was no time for argument. Both mates 
sprang at the rebel. Swensen roared and jumped to 
meet them. His enormous fist caught Saunders 
under the chin and the second mate struck the 



deck with a thump and lay still, completely "knocked 

Mr. Bailey — he was an old man whose iist-fighting 
days were over — turned and ran to the after com- 
panion. Just as he was about to descend, he was 
met by Captain Titcomb. The latter was in his stock- 
ing feet and without a coat. 

"What's the row ?" he asked. 

"That darned Swede is drunk and raisin* the 
devil," shouted the excited first mate. "Jest let me 
git my revolver. I'll I'am him somethin'." 

"Revolver nothin'," said Captain Ezra. "You 
don't need a revolver." 

He walked briskly forward and confronted the 
giant, who was, at the moment, in a mood where 
murder was a pleasure. "Put down your hands I" 
commanded the Captain. 

"Look out for him," warned Mr. Bailey. "He's 
an ox. He's jest b*t Saunders ; and killed him, too, 
for what / know." 

"Put down your hands!" repeated the skipper, 

Instead of put^ng them down the Swede struck his 
two fists togetheriand, with a howl, leaped at the 
little man in front of him. The Captain calmly 
stepped aside, stuck out his foot, and the giant, trip- 
ping over it, fell headlong. As he struggled, swear- 
ing, to his knees, he was hit just under the eye and 
fell again. 

"Put down your hands I" repeated the Captain, in 
exactly the same calm, matter-of-fact tone. 



"You go " began Swcnsen, but the back of his 

head struck the deck so emphatically that he didn't 
finish. After two more of these acrobatic perform- 
ances he concluded not to get up, and lay still, look- 
ing rather dazed and very much surprised. 

''Ready to put down your hands ?" inquired Cap- 
tain Ezra. 

"Yas, sir," said Swensen. 

"Ready to turn to and obey orders?" 

*'Ya8, sir." 

"All right. Where's the mm?" 

"In my chist." 

"One bottle or more?" 

"Yust — ^yust von, sir, I tank," 

"You tank? O'Leary," to one of the crew at the 
hatch, "go to this feller's cKist and bring up that bot- 
tle and heave it overboard. If there's any more 
liquor aboard here anywheres, bring that, too. DcHi't 
forgit to find all there is, or your mem'ry'U be fresh- 
ened up in a hurry. Lively now !" 

Two bottles — one a third full of Jamaica rum and 
the other half full of gin — ^were brought out and 
thrown overboard. 

"Humph !" grunted the Captain* "I jedge some- 
body else felt the need of a tittle eye-opener this 
momin'. There's consider'ble of this hulk here, but 
he didn't stow away all that's missing from them bot- 
tles." Then his tone changed and he turned savagely 
to the rest of the crew. 

"Is there anybody else here that doubts who's nin- 
nln' this schooner?" he asked. "If there is, now's 



his time to be argued with. No? Well, all right. 
I jedge, then, that you're willin' to do your drinkin' 
, on shore. Mr. Bailey, set that feller," pointing to 
Swensen, "to work and keep him at work till wc git to 
the dock. If he quits, send for me. When I can't 
handle a drunk without a revolver, let me know, wilh 
you ?" 

As he passed the galley and saw Bradley's pale, 
frightened face looking out at him, the Captain did 
not smile nor speak, but his left eyelid quivered for 
an instant. It was a most reassuring wink and argued 
for the serenity and self-confidence of the winker. 
Bradley had idolized his captain before; he would 
have jumped overboard for him cheerfully after that. 

And so the Thomas Doane passed and repassed 
Cape Cod on her short voyages, and Bradley, with 
every trip, learned more of the sea and the seaman's 
life. At the end of his three months he went home 
for a week's stay, but he had already made up his 
mind to return to the schooner again. Captain Tit- 
comb had said that he was pleased with him, and 
hinted at a steady rise in wages and promotion, later 
on. He was earning his living now — it cost little 

' to live — and he sent home a few dollars to the "old 
maids" every now and then. 

His first home-Joming was a great event. The 
supper that first night was almost equal, in the 
amount of food on the table, to his dinner with the 
Captain at the New York restaurant. In fact, Bnid- 

■ ley, released from salt junk and fo'castle grub, ate so 



much that he suffered with the nightmare and groaned 
so dismally that the alarmed sisters pcHinded on his 
chamber door, and Miss Tempy insisted that what 
he needed was a dose of "Old Dr. Thomas' Discov 
ery" — her newest patent medicine — and a "nice hot 
cup of pepper tea." 

There was no music during the meal, but the "(dd 
maids" talked continuously. The hemming and the 
shawl industry were bringing in some money, though 
not yet what Miss Tempy anticipated, and they haA 
had a windfall in the shape of a ccmtribution from 
the Sampson fund. 

"You see," explained Miss Tempy, "it come so 
sudden that it seemed almost like Providence had 
heard us talkin* that night and provided for us same 
as it did for Jonah in the Bible, when the robins fed 

" 'Twan't Jonah," broke in Mias Prissy, *' 'twas 
Elijah, and they wan't robins but ravens." 

"Never mind, 'twas birds and they fed somebody. 
I'm sure poor Jonah needed it, after the time he had, 
bein' eat up by whales and things. Well, anyway. 
Prissy got a letter from the Sampson folks, and they 
, said that there was a fund for mariners' children — 

I of course, we ain't children any more — ^but then " 

i "We're all the children father had," interrupted 
the older sister. "The letter said that there was 
money due us from the fund, and that we was en- 
titled to so much every year, most a hundred dollars. 
Now I knew about the Sampson thing, but / thought 
*twas charity for poor people, and Tempy and mc 



have got to livln' on charity — not yet, I hope. Bat 
it »eem«, 'cordtn' to the letters I had from 'em, that 
the money belonged to u«, «o ** 

"So we get a check every once in a while," cried 
Miss Tempy. "And how riiey knew and wrote jest 
i.t this timet It's miraculous, that's what it v3, 
miraculous I" 

Bradley thought of his conversation with Captain 
Titcomb and the afiair did not seem so miraculous, 
but he knew the Captain would not wish him to ex- 
plain, and 90 said nothing. 

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rE Thomas Doane was at her dock in New 
York, and Bradley, now twenty years old and 
a "sure enough" second mate, was on her 
deck, watching the foremast hands clearing up the 
coal dust that begrimed everything. The. schooner 
had carried coal for over a year now, and her latest 
occupation had not improved her appearance. She 
was old enough before, and patched and mended 
enough, and to turn her into a collier seemed a final 
humiliation. Captain Titcomb had felt it keenly, 
and his disgust was outspoken. 

"Well, by crimusteel" he had ejaculated, when bis 



flat-footed rebellion had been smothered by anothei 
raise in salary; "I used to dream about commandin' 
a Australian clipper some day or 'nother, but I never 
dreamed that I'd come to be skipper of a coal-hod, 
and a second-hand, rusted out coal-hod, at that. 
Blessed if it ain't enough to make the old man — dads 
I mean — turn over in his gravel Come on, Brad; 
let's go to the theatre. I want to forgit it." 

His self-respea compelled him to scrub and scour 
more than ever, and his crews earned their wages. 
However, coal carrying seemed to be profitable, and 
Williams Brothers kept the old schooner at it, win< 
ter and summer. 

And Bradley was second mate. The promotion 
had been gradual, from "roustabout and cabin boy" 
to green hand and then able seaman, and, at the be- 
ginning of his third year, to the coveted officer's posi- 
tion. He had studied his profession with the care he 
gave to anything that particularly interested him. 
Captain Titcomb was giving him lessons in naviga- 
tion, for, as the Captain said, "You ain't goin' to make 
the mistake I made. Brad, and stick to shallow water 
all your life. I learned to lay out a course and take 
a reck'nin' years ago, and, though I ain't made much 
luse of my learnin*, I hope to see you on a steamer's 
bridge one of these days; not runmn' a floatin' fire- 
shovel like this derelict;" by which collection of pet 
names he meant the Thomas Doane. 

The Captain had another project in his mind, a sort 
of secret hobby that he hinted at every little while, but 
never told. These hints usually followed a particu- 

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jarly disagreeable trip, or when the rickety Thomas 
Doane behaved even more like a cantankerous old 
maid than was her wont. Then, when he and Brad- 
ley were alone, the Captain would wake from a day- 
dream to say : 

"Brad, I git more and more sick of this bein' some- 
body else's errand boy every minute. Some of these 
days I'm goin' to take a whack at somethin' diff'rent, 
and I have a notion what 'twill be, too. I guess likely 
I may ask you to come in with me. I b'lieve it's a 
good notion. Tell you 'bout it some day." 

But he never did. 

Bradley bad grown tall and broad during his term 
of cruising. He had learned self-reliance, and his 
voice had a masterful ring. When he went back to 
Orham nowadays the "old maids" took special de- 
light in having him escort them to church, and Miss 
Tempy'-s eyes during the sermon were more often 
fixed upon him than upon the minister. The money 
that he sent the sisters amounted to something now, 
and he had an account in the savings bank. 

Now, as he stood by the rail, with his hands in his 
pockets, he heard a step on the wharf behind him and 
turned to see Captain Tltcomb jump from the string- 
piece, catch the shroud and swing aboard. The Cap- 
tain's usually good-natured face had a scowl on it, 
and he was plainly not happy. 

Bradley touched his cap. "How are things going 
up at the office ?" he asked. 

"Plumb to the devil," was the short reply. Theuj 
glancing up at the young man's face and looking huT' 



riedly away again, he added, "Come aft; I want tm 
talk to you." 

Seated in the dingy cabin, the Captain took a cigar 
from his pocket, bit off the end with a jerk and 
smoked in great pufFs. Bradley waited for him to 
speak ; the skipper's ill-humor and obvious discontent 
had come upon him the atemoon of the day the 
Thomas Doane reached port and had grown steadily 
worse. Each morning Captain Titcomb had spent at 
the office of Williams Brothers, and when he re- 
turned to the schooner he had done little but smoke, 
scowl and pace the deck. The second mate was wor- 
ried, but he asked no questions. 

"Brad," said the Captain, looking at the shabby 
carpet on the cabin floor, "we're goin' to have a new 

Bradley was surprised. "Is Mr. Bailey gomg to 
leave?" he asked. The old first mate had been as 
much a part of the Thomas Doane as her mainmast. 

"T'heyVe given him the Arrow — the new schooner. 
He's goin' to run her." 

"Why, why I Cap'n Ezra I I thought she was 
promised to you." 

"I thought so, too, but I missed my reck'nin', It 
seems. Williams — he ain't ha'f the man his brother 
was — he wants me to wait till the other one — the 
four-master — 's off the ways. Then I can have her 
- — if I want her," 

"But she won't be ready for six months, though 1 
guess from what I hear she'll be worth waiting for. 
Who'll have the old Doane then?" 



Captain Titcomb crossed his legs, but didn't answer. 
Instead he asked: "Brad, how would you like t<s 
sail under Bailey? You and him got 'long first rate, 
I wouldn't wonder if I could git you the second mate's 
berth on the Arrow. She's bran-new and clean ; not 
like this hen-coop," and he kicked a stateroom door 
with emphasis. 

Bradley did not hesitate. "I guess if you can 
stand the hen-coop, I can," he said, decisively. "I'd 
rather wait with you, thank you." 

"I don't know's you'd better. Look here," anil 
for the first time the Captain raised his eyes. "You 
know I wouldn't try to influence you if 'twan't for 
your own good. I honestly think 'twould be better 
for you if you sailed on the Arrow." 

"But why?" 

"Oh! because. Bailey's a good man and an Al 

"He isn't half the sailor you are ; nor half the man, 

"Much obliged. I'll stand for the sailor part, but 
I ain't so sure about the rest. Brad, sometimes I wish 
I hadn't stuck so close to 'owners' orders' and had 
took a few observations on my own hook. Maybe 

then But it's hard for an old dog to learn new 

tricks. I s'pose I'm a fool to worry. Money's 'bout 
all there is in this world, ain't it ?" 

"A good many folks seem to think it is." 

"And other folks don't think any the less of 'em 
for it. Well, I've laid my course and I'll stick 
to it till all's blue. Brad, will you, as a favor to 



me, chuck up your berth here and ship 'board the 

"Cap'n Ez, if you want me to quit this packet, 
you'll have to heave me overboard; that's all." 

The skipper looked at the clear eyes and the firm 
jaw of the young six-footer opposite. 

"That goes, does it?" he asked. 

"That goes. Cap'n Ez, you've been the best 
friend I've ever had, except the old maids, and — 
maybe, one more. I don't want you to think I'm not 
ambitious, because I am. I'm just as anxious to 
make something of myself as you can be to have me, 
but I've made up my mind, and, for the present, any- 
way, while you sail a vessel, I sail with you — unless 
you really order me to quit." 

The older man hesitated. "Well," he said, after 
two or three puffs at the cigar, "I ought to order it, 
p'raps, but I'll be hanged if I can. Brad Nickerson, 
I think as much of you as I would of a son, and your 
good opinion's wuth — I don't b'lieve you know how 
much it's wuth to me. But — shake hands, will you ?" 

Puzzled and troubled, Bradley extended his hand, 
and the Captain clasped it firmly in his own. For a 
moment it seemed that he was about to say something 
more, but he did not. Giving the second mate's hand 
a squeeze, he dropped it, and settled back in his chair, 
smoking and, apparently, thinking hard. As he 
thought, his lips tightened and the scowl settled more 
firmly between his brows. Five minutes of silence, 
and then the skipper threw the half-tinished cigar 
into a comer and rose to his feet. His tone was 

by Google 


sharp, and there was no trace of the feeling so re- 
cently manifested. 

"We sail to-morrer momin'," he said, stepping to 
the companion ladder, "The new first matc'U be 
here to-night. His name's Burke." 

Bradley did not move. "J«st a minute, Cap'n Ez," 
he faltered. "You — you — I know it's none of my 

business, but Well, you understand, I guess. 

You're in trouble— anybody can see that. Wtm't you 
let me help you out?" 

The Captain paused with his foot on the ladder. 
"My troubles are my own," he answered, without 
looking back. "You be thankful you ain't got any. 
And here!" the tone was almost savage; "you take 
my advice and obey orders and don't ask questions." 

He went on deck immediately and, after a mo- 
ment, Bradley followed him. The rebuff was so un- 
expected and so undeserved, the circumstances con- 
sidered, that it hurt the young man keenly. His 
pride was touched, and he made up his mind that 
Captain Titcomb should have no further cause for 
complaint, so far as interference by his second officer 
was concerned. As for thfc Captain, he kept to him- 
self and said little to anyone during the afternoon. 

The new first mate came on board that evening. 
He was a thick-set, heavy man, who talked a great 
deal, swore profusely and laughed loudly at his own 
jokes. He seemed to know his business and, as the 
Captain would have said, "caught hold" at CHice. 

They sailed the next morning, and, by the time the 
tug left them, Bradley fancied that he noticed a dif- 



ference in the state of affairs aboard the schooner. 
The usual rigid discipline seemed to be lacking. 
There was no rebellion or sign of mutiny, but merely 
a general shiftlessness that Mr. Burke did not seem 
to notice. Strange to say, Captain Titcomb did not 
notice it, either, or, if he did, said nothing. Bradley 
did not interfere ; he had not forgotten the advice to 
"obey orders and ask no questions." 

There was a good wind and a smooth sea, and the 
Captain drove the Thomas Doane for all she was 
worth. By the afternoon of the following day they 
were in Vineyard Sound. Bradley's suspicions had, 
by this time, come to be ahnost certainties. For two 
or three sailors to show signs of drunkenness on the 
first morning out of port was nothing strange, but to 
have those symptoms more pronounced the evening 
of the second day was proof that there were bottles in 
the fo'castle. But Captain Titcomb, usually the first 
to scent the presence of these abominations and to 
punish their owners, now, apparently, was unaware of 
their presence. And the first mate, too, cither did 
not see or did not care, 

Bradley was standing by the fo'castle just at dusk 
that evening when a sailor bumped violently into him 
in passing. The second mate spoke sharply to the 
offender, and the answer he received was impudent 
and surly. 

"Here, you!" exclaimed Bradley, seizing the man 
by the shoulder and whirling him violently around. 
"Do you know who you're talking to ? Speak to me 
again like that and I'll break you in two." 



The man — he was a new hand — mumbled a reply 
to the effect that he "hadn't meant to say nothin'." 

"Well, don't say it again. Stand up. You're 
drunk. Now, where did you get your liquor?" 

"Ain't got none, sir." 

"You're a liar. Stand up, or you'll Ue down for a 
good while. Anybody with a nose could smell rum 
if you passed a mile to wind'ard. Where did you 
get it?" 

The sailor began a further protestation, but Brad- 
ley choked it off and shook him savagely. The first 
mate, hearing the scuffle, came hurrying up. 

"What's the row, Mr. Nickerson?" he ssked. 

"This man's drunk, and I want to know where the 
rum came from." 

Mr. Burke scowled fiercely. "Lode here!" he 
shouted, "is that so? Are you drunk?" 

"No, sir." 

"You're mighty close to it. Why ," and here 

the first mate swore steadily for a full minute. "Do 
you know what I'd do to a man that brought rum 
aboard a vessel of mine? I'd use his blankety- 
blanked hide for a spare tops'l and feed the rest of 
his carcass to the dogfish. Git out of here, and re- 
member I'm watchin' you sharp." 

He gave the fellow a kick that sent him flying, 
and, turning to Bradley, said in a confidential whis- 
per : "Ain't it queer how a shore drunk'll stick to a 
man? I've seen 'em come aboard so full that they 
stayed so for a week afterwards." 

"I think they've got the liquor down for'ard here" 



"I guess not. If I thought so I'd kill the whole" 
— half dozen descriptive adjectives — "lot. They 
can't play with me, blank, blank 'em I" 

But, in spite of Mr. Burke's fierceness, Bradley 
wasn't satisfied. He believed that if the first mate 
had let him alone he would have found the liquor. 
However, he thought, if neither the skipper nor Mr. 
Burke cared it was none of his business. But he was 
uneasy, nevertheless. 

By nine o'clock the si^s of drunkenness were so 
plain that even the first mate had to admit the fact. 
Only a very few of the men were strictly sober. One 
of these was the big Swede, Swensen, Oddly enough, 
this man had stuck to Captain Titcomb's schooner 
every voyage since the skipper had knocked the fight 
out of him. The novelty of a pood sound thrashing 
was, apparently, just what the giant had needed, and 
for the man who had "licked" him, he entertained 
tremendous respect and almost love. 

"Cap'n Ez, he knock the tar out of me," said 
Swensen. "He stand no fooHn'. He's a man. 

He liked Bradley, too, and had presented the lat- 
ter with a miniature model of a three-masted schooner 
in a bottle, beautifully done, and such "puttering" 
work that it was a wonder how his big, clumsy fin- 
gers could have made it. 

But though Swensen and the Portuguese cook and 

one or two more were sober, the rest of the crew 

were not. Mr, Burke confessed as much to Bradley. 

"They've got rum with *em, all right," he whis- 



pcred. "But we'll be to Boston to-morrer, and there 
ain't no use startin' a row till daylight. Then some 
of these smart Alecs'U lind out who's who in a hurry, 
or my fist don't weigh what it used to. Better not 
say nothin' t9 the skipper," he added. "No use to 
worry him." 

It was odd advice from a mate, but, as Bradley 
could see, to his astonishment, there was no need 
of telling Captain Titcomb. It was plain enough 
that the latter knew his crew's condition and deliber- 
ately ignored it. Men stumbled past him and he 
looked the other way. Simple orders were bungled 
andhe did not reprove. Only once that evening did 
his wrath blaze out in the old manner. A sailor was 
ordered by him to do something and, instead of the 
dutiful "Aye, aye, sir," he replied with a muttered 

The next instant Captain Ezra's list was between 
his eyes and he fell, to be jerked to his feet again and 
back to the rail with the skipper's hand twisted in his 
shirt collar. 

"Damn you I" said the Captain, between his teeth. 
"I'll— I swear I'll " 

Mr. Burke came running and whispered eagerly in 
his commander's ear. Captain Titcomb's arm 
straightened and the sailor was thrown across the 

"Go for'ardi" roared the skipper, "and if yoa 
want to live, you keep out of my sight. I can't help 
it, Burke; I've got some self-respect left yit." 

That was all, and Bradley wondered. 



Under such circumstances accidents were bound to 
occur. But the one that did occur was serious. Brad- 
ley was below when it happened. He usually took the 
first watch, but to-night Captain TitCMnb said he 
would take it, and Mr. Burke would stay up with him 
for awhile. So the second mate "turned in." He was 
awakened by a racket on deck, and the sound of voices 
and footsteps on the companion ladder. Opening his 
stateroom door he saw four men descending the lad- 
der carrying a fifth in their arms. 

"What's the matter?" asked Bradley. "Who's 

"It's the skipper," replied one of the men, in a 
frightened voice. "He fell and hurt his head. 
He " 

Bradley sprang into the cabin and saw Captain 
TItcomb, unconscious, and with the blood running 
from an ugly cut on his forehead. 

"For God's sake " he began, but was Inter- 
rupted by Burke, who, with a very white face, was 
descending the ladder. 

"Hush up!" commanded the first mate. "Don't 
make a row. 'Taln't nothin' serious, I guess. Jest 
cussed foolishness. Put him on the locker there, 

This is what had happened: The schooner was 
passing out of the Sound and, as the night was black 
and hazy, they were using the lead frequently. The 
Thomas Doane had a high after-deck and to reach 
the waist one must descend a five-foot ladder. A 
sailor, not too sober, had thrown the lead and. in 



passing aft with the Itne, had fouled it at the ladder. 
Captain Titcomb, losing his temper at the man's 
clumsiness, had run toward him, tripped in the line 
and pitched head-tirst over the fellow's shoulder to 
the main deck. The sailor's body had broken the 
fall, somewhat, and the skull was not fractured, but 
it was bad enough. 

They bathed and bandaged the bleeding forehead, 
hurriedly pulled off the Captain's clothes and got him 
into his berth. He came to himself a little as they did 
so, but was too weak to talk and did not seem to 
realize what was going on. Mr. Burke was the most 
agitated man aboard. He swore steadily, and cursed 
the foremast hand who was responsible, beginning 
with his remote ancestors and ending with any grand- 
children that he might have later on. 

"This is a devil of a mess!" he growled. "Just 
now, too. I'd have rather broke my own neck twice 
over. Nickerson, you'll have to stay below here and 
look after him. I've got to be on deck." 

The cook, who had helped bring the Captain Into 
the cabin, lingered after the first mate had gcwie. 
Bradley questioned him about the accident. 

"Thoma, he done it," said the cook. "The line, 
she git mess up by the " 

"He was drunk," broke in Bradley. "He's been 
drunk all the afternoon. Isn't that so" 

The cook looked hastily at the ladder, then at the 
Captain. Then, nodding emphatically, he whispered : 
"Ya-as, sir. They most all drunk. I never seen so 
much drink on schooner; not on Cap'n Titcomb's 



schooner, anyway, and I sail with him for five 

Together they watched the Captain as the hours 
passed. He spoke now and then and seemed better, 
but, for the most part, he slept. Bradley changed 
the bandages on his forehead, and gave him stimu- 
lants when he woke. Mr. Burke came below every 
little while to make Inquiries. He was very nervous. 

"He's all right," he said, as he was leaving for the 
third time. "It knocked him silly, but his skull's 
whole, near's I can find out, and he'll be feelin' good 
in a day or two. You turn in, Mr. Nickerson. The 
doctor hcrc'U look out for the skipper." 

But Bradley would not go to bed. He was wor- 
ried about the Captain, and even more worried about 
the schooner. He did not like Mr. Burke, and he 
was by no means sure — judging by what he had seen 
— that the mate knew how to handle a crew. About 
two o'clock he decided to go on deck. 

It was a black night, with clouds covering the sky 
and a haze low down on the horizon. It was not 
thick enough for the fog-horns to be sounding, but 
the shore was invisible. There was almost a fair 
wind, and the schooner, heeled well over, was push- 
ing through the quiet sea !n good shape. 

Bradley leaned on the rail and looked over the. 
water toward where the shore should be. As he 
stood there the haze blew aside for a moment and 
he saw, not more than two miles away and ahead of 
the schooner, the twinkle of a light. Then it disap- 
peared again. He walked aft. One of the new 

by Google 


hands was at the wheel, and there was a distinct smell 
of rum in that vicinity. 

"Where's the mate?" aslced Bradley. 

"For'ajd, sir." 

"Who gave you that course?" 

"Mr. Burke, sir." 

Burke was standing by the foreshrouds, locking 
over the side. He started when Bradley touched his 

"Excuse me, Mr, Burke," said the second mate. 
"Where are we?" 

"Turned the Rip an hour or so ago." Burke's 
tone was distinctly unpleasant. "What are you doin* 
here? Thought I told you to stay with the skipper 
or turn in." 

"I couldn't sleep, so I came on deck a minute. 
Isn't she pretty close in ? I thought I saw the Skakit 
Light just now." 

"Saw nothin' I Skakit Light's away oS yonder. 
Water enough here to float a Cunarder. What's the 
matter with you? 'Fraid I ain't on to my job? 
When I want your help I'll ask you for it; I've sailed 
these waters when you was a kid." 

"Well, I didn't mean to " 

"Then shut up I You go below and 'tend to the 

Bradley btt his lip and turned away. If Burke 
was right he had no business to interfere. If he 
wasn't right the Thomas Doane was shaving the 
shoals altogether too close. He went below, found 
Captain Titcomb sleeping quietly and, a little later 



came on deck again to lean cm the rail amidahips, 
and, once more, stare at the foggy darkness. 

A big figure loomed close beside him. It was 
Swenaen, and he obviously wanted to speak. 

"Well, Swensen," said Bradley, "what is it?" 

The Swede leaned forward and, shading his mouth 
with his hand, whispered, hoarsely: "Mr. Necker- 
son, you know 'bout the fust mate? He all right? 

Bradley had been brought up to discourage famil- 
iarity with men before the mast. 

"What are you talking about?" he asked, 

"Nawthin', sir. Only, he know this course? Ah 
see Skakit Light twice yust now, and only a mile'n 
'half off. That not 'nough — not here." 

"Are you sure you saw it?" 

"Yas, sir." 

Bradley turned away. He hated to risk another 
snub from the mate, and he fully realized the danger 
of interfering with a superior officer, but Captain 
Tltcomb was not in command, and here was Swen- 
sen 's testimony to back his own that the schooner was 
running too close to the dangerous Cape Cod beaches. 
The course she was on was taking her still closer in 
and the fog was growing thicker. 

This time Burke was standing by the man at the 
wheel. He swore when the second mate approached, 
and snarled: "Well, what's the matter now?" 

"Mr. Burke, are you sure that wasn't the Skakit 
Light I saw? Swensen says he's seen it twice, and 



not more than a mile and a half away. If that's so, 
we're running into shoal water. Hadn't I better try 

In a blast of profanity, Burke consigned both Brad- 
ley and Swensen to the lowest level in the brimstone 

"Go below!" he yelled. "Go below and stay be- 
low, or I'll find out why." Then, as if he realized 
that he was showing too much temper, he added, in a 
milder tone: "It's all right, Nickerson. We're 
three mile off shore, and Skakit's astern of us. Go 
below ; ain't the skipper enough to make me nervous 
without you shovin' your oar in?" 

And then from somewhere forward came a fright- 
ened yell, and the sound of some one running. Swen- 
sen came bounding up the ladder from the main deck. 

"Breakers ahead I" he shouted. "Breakers ahead ! 
Put her over I Keep her off, quick 1" 

Burke's face went white and then crimson. 

"Breakers be hanged I" he cried. "Keep her as 
she is I" 

But the Swede was dancing up and down. There 
were confused cries forward, and other men came 

"Starboard your helm !" bellowed Swensen. "Put 
her overl You can hear 'cm I Listen I" 

He held up both hands to enforce silence, and for 
a moment every sou! on deck stood listening. The 
waves clucked along the schooner's side, the wind 
sang in the rigging, the masts creaked. And then 
another sound grew, as it were, into Bradley's ears. 



A low, steady murmur, now rising, now sinking. He 
sprang toward the wheel. 

"Put her over I" he shouted. "There are break- 
era. Starboard your helml Starboard I" 

"Keep her as she is I" bellowed Burke, bending 
forward with his fists clenched. "Don't turn a 
ispoke I" 

"But, for heaven's sake, Mr. Burke 1 Are you 
crazy? We'll be ashore in ten minutes I" 

The first mate's eyes shone in the dim light. His 
teeth showed white between his opened lips. 

"By the livin' God A'mightyl" he gasped, chdt- 
ingly, "I'll show you who's runnin' this craft. Keep 
her as she is/" 

Bradley forgot his duty as second officer, forgot 
that half the crew were watching him, forgot every- 
thing except that his best friend lay helpless in a 
berth below, while his schooner was being run into 
certain destruction. He leaped to the wheel and the 
mate leaped to meet him. 

Bradley stooped as he sprang forward, and it was 
lucky for him that he did so. Burke's fist whizzed 
past his ear, and the next moment the two mates were 
clinched and struggling in the little space between 
ithe deck-house and the after-rail. Bradley did not 
attempt to strike; his sole idea was to get to the 
wheel. Therefore, he merely warded off the furious 
blows aimed at his head and struggled silently. But 
the one-sided fight could not last long. Burke grad- 
ually backed his opponent to the rail, and then, with- 
out turning his head, he shouted: 



"Thoma, pass me a handspike. Lively, you " 

The man Ihoma — he was half drunk and natur- 
ally stupid — obediently placed the handspike in the 
first mate's hand. 

"Now then I" panted Burke, "by " 

And then Bradley struck — a half-arm upper cut — 
right under the ugly, protruding chin. Burke's teeth 
clicked together ; he seemed to rise from the deck and 
fell backward, at full length, almost under the feet 
of Swensen. Bradley shoved the sailor from the 
wheel and gave the latter a whirl. The schooner 
shivered, turned slowly, the booms swept across her 
deck, and alie heeled over on the other tack, with her 
nose pointing well away from the beach and toward 
the open sea. 

Burke lay still for an Instant, spread-eagled on 
the deck; then he rose to his feet. Bradley stooped 
and picked up the handspike. The first mate glared 
at the man who had knocked him down. Also he 
looked respectfully at the handspike. • But if he had 
been angry before he was crazy now. 

"You mutineer I" he shouted, with an oath between 
every word; "just wait a minute! I'll show you 
how I treat mutineers." 

He ran to the cabin companion and jumped down. 
Bradley, trying to appear calm before the crew.i 
glanced at the sails and then out over the side. Sud-' 
dcniy, so close that their ear-drums throbbed with it, 
there boomed out of the dark a thuttering, shaking 
roar, that swelled to a shriek and died away — the 
voice of the great steam foghorn of the Skakit Ught. 



"Lawd Gawdl" muttered Swenscn. "Ve vos that 


Burke came bounding up the companion ladder. 
Something bright and shiny gleamed in his hand. 

"Now then !" he cried, "we'll see what " 

But two mammoth paws clasped his wrists, the 
hand with the revolver was turned backward till the 
barrel pointed at the end of the gaff, and big Swen- 
sen's voice said, calmly; 

"Yah, I guess not. Yust vait a minute, Mr. 
Burke, Mr. Neekerson, vat I do vlt him, hey?" 

It was mutiny, of course, mutiny pure and simple, 
but Bradley had gone too far to back out now. 

"Take him below and lock him in his stateroom," 
he said. "Tell the doctor to see that he doesn't 
break out. Then come back to me. Yes, you may 
give me the revolver." 

Swensen twisted the pistol from the first mate's 
hand and then, picking him up as he would a ten-year- 
old boy, started for the cabin. Burke struggled 
furiously and swore Hke a wild man, but he couldn't 
break away. The shouts grew fainter and then were 
muffled almost entirely by tte closing of the state- 
room door. 

Bradley put the revolver in his pocket. 
' "Now, then, men," he said; "I'm skipper of this 
schooner for the rest of this voyage. Is there any- 
body here that doesn't understand it? No? All 
right. O'l^ary, go for'ard on lookout. Peterson, 
heave the lead. Swensen," as the big Swede came up 
the ladder, "take the wheel and keep her as she is." 



All that morning, until daybreak sent the fog roll- 
ing to the north in tumbled clouds, the lead was go- 
ing, and the crew were busy on the Thomas Doane. 
Bradley stood close at Swensen's elbow and edged her 
out, feeling his way with the lead, and listening to the 
calls of the foghorns. The schooner's own foot- 
power horn was kept tooting, and, by and by, as they 
got out into the ship channel, it was answered by 
other horns and bells, some close aboard, some 

But by breakfast time it was clear and line and, 
before a cracking wind, the schooner walked along as 
if she realized her escape and was trying to show her 
gratitude. Through that day Bradley stood by the 
wheel, only leaving to eat a mouthful and to inquire 
after Captain Titcomb, who was much improved and 
beginning to ask questions. And just at dusk the gilt 
dome of the Boston State House shone dimly in the 
dying light, and the Thomas Doane, resting from her 
labors, moved easily behind the tug up to her dock. 
She had made splendid time, but Bradley was far 
from happy. There was trouble coming, and he 
knew it. 

He sent word to the cook, ordering the latter to 
unlock the stateroom door and release the imprisoned 
first mate. A minute later the cook came on deck, his 
eyes shining with excitement. 

"Mr. Burke, he go right into the skipper's room 
and shut the door," whispered the Portuguese. "And 
now they talk, talk, talk. And Mr. Burke he swear 
all the time." 



When the first mate appeared he did not speak to 
any one, but jumped to the wharf and hurried away. 
A doctor was sent for and Captain Titcomb's wound 
was dressed. The physician said the injury was 
not serious. There was no concussion of the brain, 
and the patient would be all right in a couple of 

Bradley didn't sleep much that night. Next morn- 
ing the Captain sent for him. When the second mate 
entered the stateroom he found the skipper sitting on 
the edge of the berth with a big bandage on his head, 
but looking very bright and like himself. 

He seemed oddly embarrassed when Bradley came 
in. For a moment or two he did not speak. The 
second mate, who had expected a scorching rebuke 
and was prepared to meet it, was surprised at the 
mildness of his first remaik. 

"Now then, Brad," said Captain Titcomb, "set 
down. What's this about you and the mate? Tell 
the whole yam, first and last." 

So Bradley told it, just as it happened— the crew's 
behavior, his suspicions, the sighting of the Light and 
what foUowed. 

"Humph !" Capt^n Ezra nodded. "Yup, that's 
about what Burke said. Now, Brad, I s'pose you 
knew that Mr. Burke was your superior ofHcer, and 
that what he said was law for you, didn't you ?" 

"Yes, ar ; but " 

"Never mind the 'buts' now. Taking command 
by force is serious — mighty serious." 

"I did what I thought was right, Cap'n Ez — what 



I b'lieved you'd think was right. The schooner would 
have been aground in ten minutes if I hadn't." 

"Well, s'pose she would. There'd have been no 
lives lost. Plenty of boats and a smooth sea." 

"But Mr. Burke knew she was headed for the 
shoals. He must have known it. The owners 
would have " 

"What do you know about the owners and their 

"But the schooner?" 

"She's a hulk, that's all — and insured." 

The reply was an odd one, but the tone in which 
it was made was odder still. Strange things had 
happened during the past week; Captain Tltcomb's 
silent ill-humor, the interview the day before leaving 
New York, the sudden change of mates, the skipper's 
studied indifference to the demoralization among the 
crew, Burke's frantic determination to keep on the 
course set by him even after the proximity to the 
shoals had been proven beyond a doubt — all these 
were fingers pointing in one direction. Bradley, how- 
ever, had not looked in that direction. But now the 
last wisp of fog blew away and he saw clearly. 

"Cap'n Ez !" he gasped. "Cap'n Ez I Were you 
going to wreck her on purpose ?" 

The Captain shifted in his seat, but did not look at 
his companion. 

"Orders are orders," he said. "Mr. Burke was 
your skipper — with me out of the way— and you 
ought to have minded him, just as I should my 



"Wreck a vessel for her insurance I" groaned Brad- 
ley. "I didn't think you'd do it, Cap'n Ez. I didn't 
think you'd do it!" 

The dismay, the grieved disappointment and hor- 
ror in his friend's tone, seemed to hurt Captain Tit- 
comb sorely. He glanced at Bradley, and then 
looked away again. 

"I've heard all sorts of yams about you in Or- 
ham," went on Bradley. "They say you're too smart 
and that you'll bear watching and all that. I've 
called those that said it liars, and I've stood by you 

through thick and thin. But now What do you 

think they'd say if they knew of this? What do you 
think Miss Prissy and Miss Tempy would say? 
Why, they b'lieve you're the best " 

The Captain broke in testily. "Never mind all 
, that," he said. "As for Squealer Wixon and Jabc 
Bailey's talk, I don't care a snap. And the old maids 
ain't exactly up to date in this world's way of lookin' 
at things. S'pose the old Doane was booked for 
thunderation by the shoal route — ^what of it? Mind, 
I only say s'pose. Better to go that way on a smooth 
night, with all hands saved, than to bust up in a squall 
and drown us all, as was likely to happen any minute. 
INobody loses but the insurance folks, and they'd lose 
quick enough, anyhow. Why, it's done a hundred 
times a year all along this coast. 'Member when the 
Bay Queen piled up on the beach off Setuckit last 
summer? Everybody was as sartin as could be that 
'twas done a-purpose, but you couldn't prove nothin'. 
So with the Rhoda Horton and the Banner, and any 



quantity more. S'pose — mind, I'm only s'posin' — 
that you'd got orders from your owners — orders, you 
understand — to do somethin' you didn't like? S'pose 
you'd always stuck to owners' orders a good deal 
clMer'n you had to the Bible ? You talk a lot — so do 
other folks — but what would you have done?" 

"I'd have been honest, and said 'No.' " 

"Humph I Well, I guess you would. You're the 
nearest thing to an honest man that I've run across 
;^t. Honesty is the best policy, they say. But was it 
honesty that made ha'f the millionaires? Are Will- 
iams Brothers rich because they've always been hon- 
est? Josh Bangs is in the poorhouse, and he's the 
most honest critter in Orham, while his brother Sol is 
chairman of school committee, deacon in the church, 
has money in the bank, and would skin the eye-teeth 
out of a Down-East horse jockey. Why " 

"Cap'n Ez," interrupted Bradley, "stop talkin* 
that way. You don't believe a word of it. I know 
you too well. The trouble with you is that everlast- 
ing 'owners' orders.' I almost think that that acci- 
dent last night was, as Miss Tempy would say, 'sent' 
to keep you from doing something you'd be sorry for 
all the rest of your days." 

The Captain looked at the speaker oddly. "Then 
you cal'late," he said, "that I ought to thank God 
A'mighty and a tipsy fo-mast hand for savin' what 
the book folks would call my honor? That's all right; 
only wait till Williams Brothers send me their thanks 
on a clean plate, with gilt doodads 'round the edges. 
Williams Brothers and your particular friend, Mr. 



BuHec, ain't been heard from yet, my son. Well, 
Brad, I s'pose you'll be packin' up to-night, anyway. 
An honest man, 'cordin' to your log, ain't needed on 
the Thomas Doane. I told you you ought to ship 
*board die ArroK.*' 

"I didn't ship on the Arrow because I'd ntdicr be 
with you than anybody else on the earth. I wouldn't 
sail with a rascal that would wreck a schooner, and I 
don't believe — I know you're not really a rascal. Oh, 
can't you seet It iwi't myself I'm thinking about — 
it's you — you!" 

The Captain took his knife from his piJcket and 
whittled a comer off the cabin table before repl^ng. 
Then he said, slowly: 

"Much obliged, Brad. But what do you s'pose 
Williams Brothers will want me to do when they give 
me orders for this liner's next trip ?" 

"I don't know." 

"S'pose those orders are the same as the last ; what 

"Then lay 'No,' like an honest man." 

Captain Ezra gave a short laugh. "Honesty, my 
son, is like di'monds, sometimes — it's pretty, but it 
comes high. You turn in. I'm goin' to set up a while 
and smc^e." 

Bradley reluctantly went to bed, but when he 
awoke, several hours later, he heard the Captain stir- 
ring in his stateroom. 

Next morning the skipper received a telegram. 

"Williams Brothers, havin' heard from friend 
Burke, want to have a little chat with the commander 



of the clipper Thomas Doane" he remarked to Brad- 
ley. "That doctor squilgeein' my maintop with his 
physic stuff has made me feel Al again. I'm goin' to 
New York to-night on the Fall River Line." 

And he went, leaving Mr. Burke in command of 
the schooner, a state of affairs not too delightful to 
Bradley. But the Captain's stay was a short one. He 
was back on board early the second morning, and 
called the second mate into the cabin. 

"Well, Brad," he said, "I got my orders." 

"Yes, sir," anxiously. "What were they?" 

" 'Bout the same as the last." 

"And — and — what did you say?" 

Captain Titcomb leaned over and deliberately 
knocked his cigar ash into the centre of a carpet 
flower. Then he looked up quickly and answered, 
with a quizzical smile : 

"If you want to know, I told Williams Brothers to 
go to hell, and, honesty bein' the best policy, you and 
me's out of a job I" 

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^ ^ ^^^ RAD," asked Captain Titcomb, creasing 
W^L the morning paper into folds and tossing 
Ma^ it on the bed, "what are you plannin' to 
do, now that our late lamented owners have com- 
mitted linancial suicide by cuttin' you off in the flower 
of your youth, so to speak?" 

It was late the morning of the third day after the 
Captain's return from his flying visit to New York, 
They had said good-bye to the Thomas Doane the 
previous forenoon, and were now occupying a room 
in the United States Hotel. Bradley had rather ex- 

by Google 


pected to leave at once for Orham, but the Captain 
asked him to wait a little while. "If we go home 
now," he said, "we'll have to answer four million 
questions, and my head's a little leaky yet from tryin' 
to stave in the deck with it. I don't believe I could 
answer more'n three million and a ha'f without strain- ^ 
in' my intellect. I can sympathize with BJuey Batch- 
eldor. Bluey works like blazes most of the time, 
keepin' a chair from slippin' its moorin's, and 'bout 
once a year he has to come up to Boston on a vaca- 
tion. What I need is a vacation. We'll hang 'round 
here for a spell, if you don't care. Besides, I want 
to think." 

He had barely alluded to the momentous happen- 
ings of the recent voyage, nor had he given any de- 
tails of the circumstances leading up to them. Brad- 
ley, for his part, had asked no questions. It was suf- 
ficient for him to know that his best friend had been 
saved from committing what, in his eyes, was a crime. 

"Well," repeated Captain Titcomb, "what are you 
plannin* to do?" 

Bradley, who was sitting by the window, looking 
down upon the hats of the people in the narrow street, 
answered, slowly: "I don't know. I've been waiting 
to find out what you intended doing." 

The Captain crossed his legs and tilted back in his 

"I cal'Iate," he observed, "that I could walk out of 
this gilded palace of luxury and run afoul of another 
skipper's berth inside of an hour. Not at my old 
wages, of course, but a pretty fair berth, all the same. 



You see, they know me pretty well alongshore. And 
I wouldn't wonder if I could hook a sectmd mate's 
place for you, at the same time. I don't know, 
though," he added, slyly, "as you'd feel safe, bein' an 
honest man and 'whiter than snow,' as the hymn-book 
says, to sail along with me again. Hey?" 

Bradley laughed. "I'd be willing to risk it, if you 
think you can stand your end," he said. 

"Well, I ain't jest sure whether the parson is the 
best supercargo for a coastlti' packet, or not He's a 
sort of spare hawser in case your morals part, hut the 
business end of the deal is a question. However, I 
don't believe we'll stop to fight that out jest now- 
Fact is, Brad, I've had a kink in my mainshcet for a 
cwisider'ble spell. I've been gittin sicker and sicker 
of jumpin' when somebody else piped 'All hands.' 
I've had a notion that some day I was goin' to cut 
loose, and cruise on my own hook. You know I've 
hinted at it for over a year. Now, it looks as if this 
was my chance, or never. Brad, how'd you like to be 
a wrecker?" 

"A wrecker f Bradley's face showed his absolute 

"Oh, I don't mean the line of wreckin' that is mak- 
in' your eyes stick out at this minute. Thanks to my 
second mate, I seem to have graduated from that, as 
you might say. Maybe I did right — maybe I didn't. 
At present I don't know whether to bless you or to 
kick you. That's another thing to be decided on by 
and by. But I mean a different kind of wreckin*. Do 
you know Caleb Burgess, Cap't Jerry's cousin ?" 



Yes; Bradley knew him. He owned a little 
schooner that flitted along the Cape Cod coast, pick- 
ing up floating wreckage, when it was of value, drag- 
ging for anchors, dredging for chains and iron-work 
lost by vessels in trouble, and doing a sort of nautical 
old junk business. 

"Well," went on the Captain, "Caleb's gittin' old, 
and he'd like to sell out. Most folks think he's 
scratched a bare livin' from the shoals, but I happen 
to know that he's done a good deal better than that. 
The old man told me how much he had in the bank, 
and it wan't to be sneezed at. Now, I could buy that 
schooner of his cheap. She isn't much, and money 
would have to be spent on her, but she'd do for a 
start. You understand, the wreckin* business I'd 
do wouldn't be anchor-dragon' alone. There's 
money in a first-class wreckin'-plant on Cape Cod. 
Wrecks! Why, they pile up there three deep 
every winter. Now, listen a minute, while I rise 
to blow." 

Bradley listened, and the Captain talked. He had 
evidently given much thought to this proposition, and 
his plans were ambitious. He believed that if a 
capable man bought the Lizzie — that was the name 
of the Burgess schooner — added to her equipment, 
and sailed her himself, he could build up a profitable 
business. The salvage of cargoes of stranded schoon- 
ers, and of the schooners themselves, played a large 
part in his plans. One or two good-sized jobs of this 
kind, taken on a commission basis, would bring in 
capital enough to warrant the purchase of a bigger 



vessel, fitted with auxiliary power, with a diving 
equipment, derricks, and the like. 

"Then," said the Captain, rising and pacing up and 
down the room, "a man could begin to shuck his coat, 
and sail in. He could git some of the jobs the big city 
wreckin' companies git, and there's money in them — 
big money. And that would be only the beginnin'. 
I'm dreamin', maybe, but why not, some day, a fleet 
of wreckin' vessels, maybe a tug or two? And then 
for raisin' sunk schooners — and all the rest of it." 

"But wouldn't that take capital?" 

"Sartin sure. But let me — us — prove tiiat the 
profit's there, and the capital'U be donated, like 
frozen potatcrs at a minister's surprise party. Oh, 
I've thought it out I Now, here!" 

And again he proceeded to go over the ground, giv- 
ing iigures this time, showing for just how much, in 
his opinion, the Lizzie could be bought, and how 
much it would cost to fit her up for the preliminary 
work. He said that he believed himself capable of 
carrying on the business, as he had spent two years in 
wrecking when he was Bradley's age, and so on. 

"Now, Brad," he concluded, "what do you think 
of it?" 

"I believe that you could do it, Cap'n Ez." 

"No; I couldn't do it, either — not alone. I'm too 
much like the dinner the passenger on the steam- 
boat told about — I'm good, but I need somethin' to 
keep me down. I'm too much of a bom gambler; 
take big risks for the fun of it. But you and me couM 
do it. Oh, I've watched you. Brad, the way the 

by Google 


youngest boy watched the last piece of cake I You're 
cool-headed, and you look to see whether there's a 
rope tied to the anchor 'fore you heave it overboard. 
With you to plan and figure, and mc to whoop her up, 

why Well, I've made mistakes before now, but 

/ can't see any reason why we shouldn't, in two or 
three years, both be makin' more money than Will- 
iams Brothers would ever have paid us. Now, this is 
how you can come in, if you want to." 

The Captain's plan for Bradley's co-operation was, 
briefly stated, just this. He (Captain Titcomb) 
would provide the money for buying the Lizzie and 
whatever else was immediately necessary. Bradley 
would contribute his savings to the pile. They were 
to be partners on equal shares, but Bradley was to 
pay, from his share of whatever profits might come 
from time to time, the amount necessary to make his 
investment the equal of the Captain's. No new move 
was to be made without the consent of both partners. 
It was a very generous offer, and Bradley said so. 

"No generosity about it," protested Captain Ezra. 
"I'm lookin' out for myself, and I need you, as the 
tipsy man said to the lamp-post. I tell you, honest — 
i sha'n't go into this thing unless you go in with me. 
Mavbe it's a fool notion, anyway. Well, there," he 
concUrded, "now that I've unloaded my mind, we'll 
go down to the Cape this afternoon. I'll look 'round, 
and you take a week to think things over in. At the 
ends of the week you can say 'Yes,' or 'No.' " 

The conversation did not end here. Bradley was, 
by this time, catching some of the Captain's enthusi- 



asm, and he had a great many questions to ask> The 
forenoon was over by the time they had finished, and 
Bradley agreed to take the week to "think it over in." 

They caught the four o'clock train for Orham. 
On the way down Captain Titcomb said : 

"Brad, if It ain't too much of a strain on an honest 
man's CMiscience, p'raps 'twould be a good thing for 
us to say nothln' 'bout the reel reason why we left the 
Thomas Doane. What do you think?" 

Bradley looked up quickly. 

"Cap'n, you didn't think I would say anything 
about it, did you?" 

"No; of course I didn't. Beg pard<Ki, and much 
obliged. Brad." ■ 

The "old maids" were washing the supper dishes 
when Bradley surprised them by walking into the 
dining-room. When the first shock was over, the sis- 
ters were the most delighted pair in Orham. They 
insisted on preparing a bran-new meal for their 
"boy," and no amount of protestation on his part , 
could change their minds. 

"I do declare, Bradley!" said Miss Prissy, cutting 
slices of bread for toast; "I honestly b'Ueved you 
saved Tcmpy fr<Mn havln' a ccmniption fit. We 
hadn't got a letter from you for over a week, and she 
was about ready to start for Boston and swim after 
you. Drownin' was the least thing she was sure had 

"Don't you b'lieve her, Bradley," exclaimed Miss 
Tempy, hurrying past with the "fruit-cake" box. 
"She was jest as worried as I was, and only last night 



the said if you wasn't under Cap'n Titcomb's care, 
she didn't know as she should sleep a wink." 

They were very curious to know why Bradley had 

■ come home so unexpectedly, and when they learned 

that he had left the Thomas Doane and, not only 

that, but that theCaptain also had left, they asked one 

question after another. Bradley simply said that the 

. Captain had other plans, and that he couldn't tell what 

they were yet. The sisters knew from experience that 

. there was no use coaxing when their ward had made 

up his mind, and so changed the subject. But Miss 

Tempy indulged in a good deal of silent speculation 

as she watched him eat. 

After supper they adjourned to the sitting-room. 
Bradley was uneasy and several times glanced at the 
clock. After a while he said that, if they didn't mind, 
he should like to go out for an hour or so. Of course, 
the sisters said, they "didn't mind," and he put on his 
hat and went. 

"There now I" exclaimed Miss Tempy, as the door 
closed. "Where do you s'pose he's goin'? To see 
the Cap'n, I presume likely." 

Miss Prissy shook her head. 

"I don't know," she answered, dubiously. 
"Tempy, Bradley's a young man now, and I expect 
we mustn't look to have as much of his society as 
we used to. I have a sneakin' notion that, if you 
wanted to find him this evenin', 'twould be a good 
idea to hunt up Augusty Baker." 

"Oh, dearl" sighed her sister. "That dreadful 
dog girl I" 



Miss Prissy's shrewd guess wasn't far wrong. 
Bradley passed out of the Allen gate only to open the 
one of the yard adjoining. His knock at the side 
door apparently started a canine insurrection, for 
there was a tremendous barking and growling inside, 
and when old Mrs. Baker answered the knock the 
heads of Tuesday and Winfield, the only survivors of 
Gus' troop of pets, protruded from either side of her 
skirt. Both dogs and old, lady were surprised and 
glad to see the visitor. 

"Why, Bradley Nickerson!" exclaimed Mrs. 
Baker. "How do you do? Come, right in, won't 
you? Git out! Git out, you provokin' critters! 
Seems to me the older these dogs git, the worse they 
are. But 'Gusty thinks as much of 'em as if they was 
solid gold. When Peter was run over by the cars — 
and 'twas a mercy, 'cause he had the mange comin' on 
and was a sight to behold; 'Gusty said herself he 
looked like a map of the South Sea Islands — she felt 
as bad as if 'twas a human, every bit. No; she ain't 
in, jest now. It's prayer-meetin' night, and she 
thought she'd go — to save the reputation of the 
fam'ly, she said. She's jest as much of an odd stick 
as ever. Well, I'm sorry you won't step in and wait. 
Come again, won't you ? How's Tempy's cold ? Did 
Cap'n Titcomb come down with you? You don't 
say ! Good-night." 

The Bakers attended the Baptist Church, and 
thither walked Bradley, his hands in his pockets and 
his head full of the wrecking scheme. Already the 
germs scattered by the Captain had begun to take ef- 



feet, and the proposition looked more and more at- 
tractive. It appealed to his ambition, and there was 
an adventurous element in It that was especially allur- 
ing. But the whole thing was such a radical depart- 
ure from all his former plans for the future that he 
did not intend to decide offhand; a week was not too 
much time. He wanted to talk the mater oyer with 
Gus, for she was a good listener and was almost like 
a brother so far as interest in masculine affairs was 
ccHicemed, He had not seen her for nearly sIk 
months, although he had been at home three times 
during that period. Once she had been at New Bed- 
ford on a visit, once she was ill, and the third time 
both she and her grandmother had gone to Boston on 
a Mechanics* Fair excursion. Her letters came regu- 
larly, however, and were bright and "newsy" always. 
It was nearly nine o'clock, and the fence in front of 
the little church was ornamented by a row of Orham's 
young men, who were waiting for the meeting to 
come to an end. Prayer-meetings In Orham seemed 
:o be held especially for the benefit of feminine 
worshippers and a few old men. The young fellows 
drifted around to the church just before nine o'clock, 
sat (HI the fence, and whittled and told stories. Then, 
as the final hymn was sung, they formed in line at 
either side of the vestry door, and, when the young 
wc«nen came out, stepped forward to "see them 
home." The old people were the only objectors to 
this performance ; the girls didn't object at all, and 
the clergyman only mildly criticised. Possibly he re- 
alized that the sense of religious duty which filled the 



vestry settees with rows of pretty faces might be Cffli-. 
siderably weakened by the absence of that other row 
on the fence. 

Bradley joined the fence brigade and was hailed by 
half a dozen acquaintances, mostly old school-fellows. 
■He heard all the news, and a lot more that might be- 
come news if it ever happened. 

"Sam Hammond was down last month," so 
"Hart" Sears informed him. "Talk about dudes! 
Say, Snuppy, wan't he a lulla-cooler ?" 

"I should smile If he wan't," replied "Snuppy" 
Black. "Gold watch — and clothes 1 You never saw 
such clothes! Sam's working for the Metropolitan 
Wrecking Company, and he must be getting rich. 
And he has a good time in New York. 'Member 
those yarns about the girls, Hart?" 

Scars laughed and winked knowingly. "Sam's a 
great feller for girls," he observed. "He was chas- 
in' 'em down here, I tell you. Gus Baker was the one 
he chased most, but Gus can keep him guessln' ; he 
ain't the only one that's been runnin' after her — hey, 
Snup ?" Then the whole row laughed uproariously. 
Bradley, somehow, didn't enjoy the rest of the con- 
versation. In the first place, he didn't relish the idea, 
'so suddenly brought home to him, that "fellers" were 
running after Gus, and particularly he didn't care to 
have Sam Hammond among the runners. He had 
met Sam once or twice in New York ; a big; chao he 
was, handsome and well dressed, In a rather loud 
fashion, and with a boastful knowledge of life about 
town, Bradley was not a prig, but saloons and after- 



theatre suppers had little attraction for him, even if 
his salary had been large enough to pay the bills. He 
had wondered, idly, how Sam could afford the "fun" 
he was always describing. 

As for Gus, Bradley's feeling for her was not in 
the least sentimental, but now there was a new and 
odd sensation of jealousy. Evidently she was consid- 
ered attractive by others, and it seemed that he was 
not the only young man who had a share tn her 
thoughts. She had not written him about Hammond, 
and he didn't like that. 

The melodcon in the vestry struck up "God be with 
you till me meet again," and the loungers on the fence 
began to move over toward the door. He went with 
them, standing a little way back from the entrance. 
The final verse of the hymn died away in deaf Mrs. 
Piper's tremulous falsetto. Then there was a hush 
as the benediction was pronounced, the door swung 
open, and, with giggles and a rustle of ctmversation, 
the worshippers began to emerge. 

The young ladies were delightfully unconscious 
that any one was waiting for them. They were so 
surprised when the right man, smiling bashfully, 
stepped forward. "Why, hello 1 Are you here? Yes; 
I s'pose so. Good night, Emmie. Don't forget what 
I told you." And the couple— the "beau" with a 
tight grip on his sweetheart's arm just above the 
elbow — disappeared around the corner. 

Bradley looked for Gus, and at last he saw her. 
She was talking to Mr. Langworthy, and the light 
from the bracket lamp in the entry shone upon her 

« D,.;,l,ZDdbyG00gIC 


face. Again he decided, just as he had when he left 
her before going to sea, that she was pretty, but now 
he realized that hers was not a doll-like prcttiness, but 
that there was character in her dark eyes and the ex- 
pression of her mouth. It seemed to him, loo, that she 
was well dressed, and Bradley had not been accus- 
tomed to notice the dress of his female acquaintances. 
Not that Gus wore anything rich or costly, but her hat 
wasn't purple and yellow, like Gcorgiana Bailey's, 
and whatever she had on seemed to be the right thing. 
It was not to be wondered at, so he thought, that Sam 
Hammond and the rest ran after her, and again he 
felt that odd, uneasy jealousy. 

She came out and stood on the step, buttoning her 
glove. Two of the young fellows stepped out of the 
line toward her. She spoke to both of them and 
laughed. Then she caught sight of Bradley, who also 
had moved into the lamplight, and, brushing past the 
rival pair of volunteer escorts, she held out her hand. 

"Why, Bradl" she exclaimed. "Where on earth 
did you come from? I'm ever so glad to see you. 
How do you do?" 

Bradley shook hands and said, "How do you do?" 
There was no earthly reason why he should be embar- 
rassed, but he was, just a little. He stammered, and 
then asked if he might have the pleasure of "seeing 
her home." 

Gus laughed — a jolly, unaffected laugh. 

"Why, of course you may," she said. "That's what 
you came here for, isn't it? I hope so, at any rate." 

Bradley laughed too, and admitted that he guessed 

, D,.;,l,ZDdbyG00gle 


that was about it. Gus took his arm, and they 
moved down the path and down the rough stone steps 
to the sidewalk. The two young fellows who had 
been so unceremoniously slighted gazed after them 
blankly for a moment, and then turned to see if there 
were any more ellgibles left. 

"Why, I haven't seen you for an age," said Gus. 
"And you haven't written for nearly three weeks. 
Why did you come home now ? You didn't expect to 
come home so soon, did you ?" 

Bradley explained why he had come home. Cap- 
tain Titcomb had left the Thomas Doane, he said, 
and he had left with him. He didn't tell the real rea- 
son for the leaving, but hinted at dissatisfaction with 
the owners. To head off further questions on this 
ticklish subject he asked Gus what she had been doing 
that winter. 

"Well," she said, "I graduated from high school, 
for one thing, and I'm keeping house for grandma. I 
guess that's about all." 

"What's been going on in town? Any dances?" 

"Yes; a few. I went to the Washington's Birth- 
day Ball, but it wasn't much fun. Most of the floor 
committee were old, married people, and about every 
other dance was 'Hull's Victory' or a quadrille. 
Round dances, you know, are wicked— especially if 
you don't know how to dance them." 

"You wrote me you went to that, Sam Ham- 
mand's been home, hasn't he?" 

"Oh, yes; I went to the ball with him. He's a 
'"■ dancer, and we waltzed whenever they played 



a waltz tune, no matter whether the rest were busj 
with a quadrille or not. I suppose it wasn't very po- 
lite, but — oh, dear I a ball is supposed to be a good 
time, and I'd rather wash dishes than have my toes 
stepped on by Captain Bailey in a contra-dance. Do 
you ever see Sam in New York?" 

"No; not very often." 

"He must be doing splendidly in his business. He 
seems to have lots of money, and he tells the most 
exciting things about diving and saving things from 
wrecks. He's very handsome, too; don't you think 

"I dbn't know ; never noticed." 

Gus laughed, apparently at nothing in particular. 
"I think," she said, slyly, "that going away must be 
a great help to a person's looks. Most of my friends 
who have been away have improved very much," 

Bradley glanced at her. 

"Shall I say 'Thank you'?" he inquired, drily. 

"Why, of course!" 

"All right. Much obliged. Staying at home 
seems to agree with some people; but I suppose you 
didn't know that?" 

'Shall I make you a curtsey, or be cross at the sar- 
casm? What makes you act so difEeren* to-night? 
Why don't you tell me what you are going to do, now 
that you've given up your position ?" 

"I wasn't sure that you'd be interested. You didn't 
ask 1" 

"You didn't use to wait to be asked. Of course 1 
want to know. Tell me, please." 

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So Bradley told her of Captain TitctHub's idea con- 
cerning the purchase of the Lizzie, and the offer of 
partnership in the wrecking business. As he talked, 
his growing interest in the plan became more evident, 
and he spt^e of it as something already nearly de- 
cided upon. "What do you think of it?" he asked, 
in conclusion. 

"Why, I don't know," replied Gus. "If it all 
works out as the Cap'n hopes it will be a fine thing; 
but isn't it rather risky ? It means staying at home 
here in Orham, where people's ideas get into a rut, it 
seems to me. The cities seem so big and to have such 
chances for a man. You know yourself, Brad, that 
you've improved a lot since you went away," 

"I haven't got a gold watch yet, nor any fine 
clothes, and my dancing wouldn't draw a crowd, I 

"Don't be silly. Sam is a good waltzer, and he has 
improved in his manners and in other ways. I 
shouldn't want you to settle down into nothing but a 
'longshoreman. I guess I'm like Miss Tempy — I 
hoped you'd be captain of an ocean liner some of 
these days." 

"Well, I don't mean to cramp myself to 'longshore- 
man size, just because I stay in the village. It looks 
to me like a chance — a good chance — to be my own 
boss and make something of myself. I hoped you'd 
see it that way." 

"Perhaps I shall, when I get more used to it. Tell 
me more, please." 

They bad reached the little house, and, leaning on 



the gate under the big silver-leaf tree, Bradley again 
went over the details of the new plan. Gus was inter- 
ested, and asked many questions, but to both of them 
the interview was not entirely satisfactory. The old, 
boy-and-girl, whole-hearted exchange of confidences 
seemed to be lacking. To Bradley, in particular, as 
he turned away after saying "Good-night," the con- 
sciousness of a difference in his relation with his old- 
time "chum" was keen. She was interested in him 
and in his hopes and plans, but she bad plans and 
hopes of her own now, and perhaps he was not so 
much the central figure as he used to be. 

He said nothing to the "old maids" about where 
he had been, but, although he didn't know it, this was 
not necessary. After he had gone to his room, Miss 
Tempy whispered : 

"Prissy, I peeked under the window shade in the 
parlor for as much as five minutes, and he and she was 
leanin' over that gate and talkin' away as if there 
wasn't anything else in the whole world. Do you 
s'pose we ought to say anything?" 

"Say anything!" sighed the sister. "What should 
we say? Bradley's a man now, and you and me can't 
put him to bed without his supper any more." 

Next day Bradley called on the Captain. The lat- 
ter had seen Caleb Burgess, and the Lizzie could be 
bought for a very reasonable sum. Captain Titcomb 
was also preparing a long table of figures showing the 
cost of what was needed to fit her up. They talked 
for over an hour, but Bradley was not yet ready to 
decide; he would take his full week, he said. 



But by the end of the week his mind was made up ; 
he was ready to take the chance that the Captain 
offered. He told Gus so, and she agreed that, per- 
haps, he was doing right. He told the "old maids," 
and so knocked Miss Tempy's air-castles into smith- 
ereens in one tremendous crash. Not that this was an 
irretrievable calamity, for she immediately began to 
build new ones on a different plan, 

"Isn't it splendid I" she exclaimed. "Now he'll be 
home all the time, as you might say, and we won't 
have to worry when it storms, 'cause we'll know jest 
where he is. And when he begins to get rich, we'll 
have the bam shingled, and maybe the house can be 
painted. I think a cream-yellow with dark green 
trimrain's would be nice ; that's the way Cap'n Jona- 
dab Wixon is goln' to paint his house. And, oh, 
Prissy I perhaps, now that Bradley and he are part- 
ners in bus'ness, the Cap'n'Il come here once in a 
while, I hope he will; his advice is so valuable." 

The partnership articles were signed, Bradley drew 
his money from the savings bank, and the Lizzie 
changed hands. The next month was a very busy 
one, for they were at work on the schooner every day, 
refitting and rigging. One noon of the fourth week 
the Captain came down to the wharf with a Boston 
paper in his hand. 

"Brad," he said abruptly — they were alone — "I 
b'lieve I never told you the full inside of that last 
v'yage of ours. 'Twas this way : When we got into 
New York on the trip before the last one, Williams 
he sent for me, and nothin' would do but I must go 



to dinner w!th him. I thought 'twas queer, for Will^ 
iams ain't heavin' dinners 'round the way you feed 
com to chickens; but when I saw the lay-out that noon 
I knew somethin' was up. Talk about your feeds I 
Why, Brad, there was oysters, and soup, and lobster 
a la poleyvoo — or somethin' like it — and turkey, and 
ice cream, and the Lord knows what. I swan I I ex- 
pected to see 'em bring on fricasseed bird of paradise 
and giraffe steak 'fore they got through. And cham- 
pagne t Say, I could have swilled champagne to float 
the Thomas Doane and had enough left for a bath 
for all hands and the cook. But I kind of shortened 
sail on the champagne tack; I wanted my deadlights 
clear for what was comln'. Then, when 'twas over, 
and we was burnin' dollar bills in the shape of cigars, 
your old messmate Williams begins to heave over the 
ground bait. Wasn't I sick of bein' skipper of an 
undertaker's cart? I was capable of runnin' the fast- 
est craft afloat — ^best man they ever had, and so on. 
Talk about taffy! He poured it on till I thought I'd 
stick to the chair. Then I was to have the new four- 
master, only — what should they do with the Doanef 
He couldn't sell her for enough to pay the agent's 
commission. If she was piled up on the beach, why, 

the insurance would 

"Well, you see the drift. I smelt bilge before the 
pumps had worked five minutes. First, I said 'No,* 
flat-footed, jest like your little tin honest man. That 
was the first day. But that was only the beginnin'. 
He kept at it all the time. There was no chance of 
losin' a life ; 'twas what was done fifty times a year. 

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See what was comin' to me. More mcmey? Why, 
sure. And the new schooner, best in the bus'ness. 
He'd always swore by me. His brother that's dead 
used to say Cap'n Titcomb would stick to owners' 
orders, if he was told to jump overboard. They'd 
treated me better than any skipper they ever had, and 
now, the first time I was asked to really do somethin* 
to help the firm, I went back on 'em. 

"Never mind the rest. Fln'Uy they got me to say 
that maybe I'd do it. And I hated myself every min- 
ute afterwards. But, you see, I'd always been used to 
takin' risks, liked to take 'em, and I ain't got your 
saintly disposition, my son. Well, let it go at that. 
This in the paper is what started me talkln' about It 
to-day, and I tell you honest, it wan't surprise enough 
to give me a shock of palsy." 

Bradley took the paper and saw on the page indi- 
cated the words, "Wreck on the Long Island Sand 
Bars. The Schooner Thomas Doane Lost. AH 
Hands Saved." He glanced over the article, which 
briefly stated that the three-masted schooner Thomas 
Doane, Burke master, had struck on the shoals of[ 
Long Island and would be a total loss. The crew, 
after trying in vain to save the vessel, had taken to 
the boats and reached shore in safety. 

"I didn't believe they'd dare do it I" exclaimed 
Bradley. "We know, and they know we know." 

"Who'll tell?" asked the Captain, shortly. "Not 
me, for I was in it as bad as the rest. Not you, for 
they know you and me were thicker'n flies on a molas- 
ses stopper. No; 'twas 'Good-bye, Susan Jane,' se 



far as the old Doane was concerned, and I've been 
expectin' It. Well, I wasn't at the funeral, so let's 
forgtt it." 

And apparently Captain 'Htcomb did forget it; a 
good many months were to pass before Bradley was 
again to hear his f rioid mention that subject. 

by Google 




IT was a May morning off Setuckit Point The 
Point itself was in the middle distance, with the 
lighthouse top shining black against the sky, and 
the little cluster of fishing shanties showing brown 
amid the white sand dunes and green beach grass. 
The life-saving station was perched on the highest of 
the dunes and its cupola was almost as conspicuous as 
the lighthouse. The thick cloud, apparently of mos- 
quitoes, hovering over the Point, was, in reality, the 
flock of mackerel gulls that are always hunting for 
sand eels on the flat. Low down across the horizon 
miles beyond was smeared the blue and yellow streak 
that marked the mainland of the Cape, 

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To the right, only a half mile away, but through 
the darker water that indicated the ship channel, a 
four-masted schooner was moving swiftly, the sun- 
shine flashing sparks from her cabin windows and 
marking high lights and shadows on her swelling can- 
vas. Ahead of her, against the sky line, was the 
light-ship that marked the turning point in the course ; 
behind, not quite so far away, was the other light- 
ship that she had just passed. More schocmers were 
following her, strung out in a Icmg line, and others, 
bound in the opposite direction, were standing 
inshore or heading out to sea as they beat up 
in the face of the brisk wind. An occasional 
steamer or an ocean tug with a tow flaunted a 
dingy streamer of smoke here and there amid the 
graceful schooners. 

Along the edge of the channel, and sprinkled amid 
the blue, were patches of light green water where the 
waves ran higher and broke occasionally. There 
were the shoals, the "Razorback," the "Boneyard," 
and the rest. If it were possible, and fashionable, to 
erect tombstones for lives lost at sea, these hidden 
sandbars would bristle with them. Not a winter 
month that passes but vessels are driven ashore here, 
and the wicked tides and winds scatter their timbers 
far and wide. The Setuckit life-saving crew have few 
restful hours from October to May. 

On the edge of one of these shoals, just over in 
deep water, a little schooner lay at anchor, rocking 
and plunging incessantly. Her sails were down ind 
only one man was aboard. Half a mile away, iitst 



where the tati of the shoal made out into the channel, 
two dories were moving slowly In parallel courses, 
trailing a rope between them. The schocmer was the '■ 
Lizzie, the man aboard her was Barney Small, once a 
stage driver, but now, forced out of business by the 
new railroad, back again at hts old trade — wrecking. 
Captain Ezra Tltcomb was rowing one dory and 
Bradley Nlckerson the other. They were "anchor 

When the gales begin in the fall, Setuckit Point, 
lying as it does at the edge of the fairway between 
Boston and New York, is sometimes a natural break- 
water and forced anchorage for the coasting vessels. ■ 
Perhaps the skipper of a large three or four-masted 
schooner, caught just at night by a heavy sea and a 
rising gale, doesn't relish the idea of passing through 
the shoals and over the dangerous "rips" beyond. He 
determines to anchor in the lee of the Point and wait 
for daylight or to ride out the gale. The sandy bot- 
tom Is bad holding ground for anchors. By and by 
the wind and the roaring tide get their grip on the 
schooner and the skipper sees that she is slowly but 
surely being forced on the shoals. Perhaps he tries 
to haul the anchor inboard again; perhaps time Is too 
short to risk in the attempt, and the chain is let go 
entirely. At any rate, a big anchor, with fathoms of 
heavy chain, is left fast in the sand, and the schooner 
— ^well, if she Is lucky, she makes an ofBng or iinds 
better holding ground at another place. 

Big anchors and chains are worth money, and it 
may be that the skipper writes to a wrecking company 



telling where the anchor may be found and what he 
will pay for the recovery. Or, just as likely, he says 
nothing about it, and then "findings are keepings," 
and the wrecker who dredges up the anchor makes 
whatever he can sell it for at Vineyard Haven or Bos- 
ton. Anchor dragging lills in time between salvage 
jobs and it pays. 

Bradley and the Captain were anchor dragging 
merely on speculaition this time. There had been a 
dozen wrecks off the Point the previous winter and a 
number of anchors lost beside. They had already 
picked up two — one by the Boneyard shoal and erne, a 
big fellow, away out on the rips. 

The two dories moved slowly down the edge of 
the shoal, separated by a distance of perhaps a hun- 
dred yards. The line between them, weighted with a 
lead sinker at each end, was dragging along the bot- 

"Fisherman's luck," shouted Captain Ezra from 
his dory. "Queer we ain't found It yit, Brad. We're 
right on the range Eldredge gave me — the P'int 
Lighthouse and the pole on Black's shanty, in line to 
the no'theast, and the Hamissport steeple and 
Thompson's windmill to the no'th. I suspicion that 
we're too nigh inshore. Never mind; we'll keep <hi 
for a little ways further." 

They were dragging for an anchor lost by the 
coasting schooner Mary D. a month before. She had 
been caught by the tide and the chain had been let go 
with a run. One of the hands aboard — Eldredge by 
name — was an Orham man, and he it was who had 

by Google 

had the presence of mind to take the "ranges" men- 
tioned by the Captain, which information he had sold 
to his fellow-townsmen for a five dollar bill. 

Bradley and the Captain began rowing once more. 
They had gone but a little way when, slowly but 
surely, the dories began to draw nearer to each other. 
Bradley, looking over the side, saw that the "drag 
Jine" no longer hung straight down, but, tightly 
stretched by whatever was holding it on the bottonit 
led off diagonally astern. 

"Got a bite I" he shouted. 

"Yup," replied the Captain, shortly. 

They kept on rowing easily, and in a few minutes 
the pressure on the line had brought the dories side 
by side. Then Bradley passed his end of the rope to 
his partner, who began hauling in with care. By this 
operation the skipper's dory was soon brought direct- 
ly over the spot where lay the hidden object, Bradley 
rowed his own boat alongside. 

"Now, then," said Captain Titcomb; "let's see if 
she's got the right complexion." 

He leaned over the side, and, taking one end of the 
line in each hand, pulled them tight and sawed vigor- 
ously back and forth, thus drawing a section of the 
rope again and again under the treasure-trove below. 
Then he paid out one end of the line and hauled in 
the other until this section came to the surface ; it was 
marked with a dull red stain — iron rust. ■ 

"And that's all right so" fur," commented the Cap- 
tain. "She's a lady of color, anyhow. Looks to me 
as if that bread on the waters that I cast, in the shape 



of a fiver, to Brother Eldredge, had brought forth 

fruit in due season; hey, Brad? Pass me that way 


The smaller end of the "way line," a stout rope 
tapering from one inch to three inches in thickness, 
was spliced to the "drag line," and drawn down and 
under the supposed anchor until the latter was looped 
by it. Then the "messenger," an iron shackle or col- 
lar fastened by a bolt or pin, was clamped about the 
upper parts of the lo<^. To this "messenger" was 
also attached a small cord. 

"Now then. Brad," said the Captain, "we'll put <hi 
her necktie." 

The '"way line" was drawn tight and the heavy 
"messenger" plunged out of sight beneath the water. 
It slid down to the end of the "way line," thus hold- 
ing with a tenacious grip the submerged object. They 
tested with the "messenger," pulling it up with the 
cord and letting it drc^ again. It struck solidly and 
with the tingle of metal against metal. 

" 'Sartinly feels promisin', as the boy said when he 
crept down in the dark the night afore Christmas to 
paw over his stockin'. Better bring up the schocmeft 

Bradley pulled down to the Lizzie. Barney and he 
hoisted canvas enough to give them steerage way and 
the little vessel ran alongside of the Captain's dory. 
Then the ropes were rigged through the block in the 
forerigging, and Bradley and Barney fitted in the 
brakes of the clumsy hand-windless, while Captain 
Titcomb stood by the bulwark. 



"H'ist away I" cwnmanded the skipper. 

The windlass creaked, the cable tightened and the 
blocks groaned as a heavy weight was lifted from the 
bottcHn. A minute or two more, and the Captain 
signalled to ease up. 

"Brad," he said, "come here a minute. This ain't 
any anchor." 

Barney held the windlass brake while Bradley 
moved, to the rail. 

"Look at that," said Captain Ezra, pnnting. 

Through the green water the "messenger" showed 
dimly, holding in its grip the upper part of a three- 
cornered iron frame, as unlike an anchor as anything 
could be. 

"What on earth " began Bradley. The Cap 

tain grinned. 

"Never saw anything like that afore, hey? Well, 
I cal'late I have. What do you say to a bell-buoy 

"Why, sure I" Bradley's tone was a disgusted one. 
*'No wonder we thought it was an anchor. Got adrift 
and smashed up by the ice somewhere. Well, we've 
had our work for nothing. Shall we cast ofi?" 

"Not yet, son. You and Barney heave a little more 
elbow grease Into that windlass. Might as well shake 
hands with the critter, now we've got him nigh 
enough to see his face." 

"But that framework isn't worth anything." 

" 'Tain't the stockin' that counts always; It's what 
Santa Claus puts inside of it. I have a notion this 
feller may be a s'prise package. H'lst away 1" 



More of the wet rope came aboard. Captain Ezra 

"I guessed pretty nigh that time," he muttered. 
"Now, Brad, come here." 

The iron frame, green with seaweed and trimmed 
with kelp and shells, hung half out of the water. At 
its base, just above the battered and crushed cone that 
had been the buoy, a big bronze bell glistened and 

"And 1 can git twenty-five dollars for that bell," 
crowed the Captain. "Which, in the present state of 
this corporation's finances, mustn't be considered a 
widow's mite. Well, this ain't what I was after, but 
it's ntMie the less welcome, as the cat said when it 
found the mouse swimmin' in the milk pail. Swing 
her in, Barney I Now we'll go back and have another 
try for the Alary D.'s anchor." 

The bell-buoy was not the only surprise that old 
ocean gave them, although it was the only one in 
which there was any money. Once they dragged to 
the surface the rusted remnant of a galley stove, and 
once, when the "drag line" was hauled in, at the end 
of an unsuccessful day's work, wrapped about it was 
the torn and draggled remnant of a woman's aprcMi, 
and tangled In that a child's toy — a little railway car. 
This last happened in the Sound off Nantucket. 

Captain Titcomb carefully disentangled the odd 
find from the line, 

"Humph!" he mused, balancing the battered play- 
thing in his hand. "Somebody's wife and baby was 
aboard the vessel that those came from. I don't re- 



member a wreck of that kind nigh here of late years. 
But the tide carries things a long ways, and these 
might hare been rolled along the bottom for miles, or 
they might have been carried here on a piece of drift. 
And then again, it might be one of those wrecks you 
never hear off: black night, gale blowin', snow so 
thick you can scarcely see the jibboom, and there's a 
smash and a tramp steamer backs ofi with her nose 
busted, not knowin' what she hit. And then in a little 
while there's a piece in the paper sayin' that the 
schooner So and So is missin' ; ain't been heard of for 
two or three weeks; it's feared she must have foun- 
dered in the big gale of January tenth. Skipper had 
his wife and children with him, and so forth. Brad, 
God moves in a curious way His wonders to perform, 
don't He? Maybe it's jest as well you and me don't 
know the real story of these things. Stwnetimes I 
think there ought to be a law against sailors gittin' 

7'hey had some long talks together concerning 
their new venture, which, up to date, although they 
had made some money, had not given them the (^por- 
tunity for a "falg job" that they hoped for. 

"Brad," observed the Captain, as they were walk- 
ing up from the wharf one evening, "are you gittin' 

"No, not yet. I didn't expect anything different 
this first summer." 

"Well, I jest asked. You see, there's a barrel of 
folks in this town who are sayin' that I'm a fool to 
think that I can make money out of a trade that other 



foHcs have barely kept body and soul together in. 
And they're aa^n', too, that you're a bigger fool for 
goin' in with me. I s'pose you've heard that as much 
as once from some of these kind souls, haven't you ?" 

Bradley laughed. "Well," he answered, "I listen- 
ed to a long sermon from that text the other night at 
the postoffice." 

"Humph 1 Henry Simmons occupied the pulpit in 
response to a unanimous call frc»n himself, I s'pose ?" 

"How did you know?" 

"Oh ! I jest put two and two together, like the 
woman that made some stockin's for herself out of a 
couple of pair that betcnged to her little girl. I saw 
Henry headin* over in your direction that night, and 
I know his advice pumps are always workin'. Henry's 
what you might call a quitter. The only time be ever 
stuck to anything was when he set down on the fly 
paper. He was a sailor for three v'yages and then 
gave it up 'cause he hadn't been made skipper. Then 
he raised hens, but got discouraged 'cause the roosters 
wouldn't lay — some such reason, anyhow. He's done 
a little of 'most everything sence, but he's given 'em 
up one after the other; the only trade he ain't peeked 
in at is the one he was cut out for — that's roostin' c»i 
tc^ of the church steeple for a weather vane. Conse- 
quently he knows from experience that it's time to 
g^ve up afore you begin. He always said 'twas a 
crazy thing to do, this wreckin', didn't he?" 


"Well, when I first made the deal for the Lizzie 
Tith Caleb, Simmons come 'round to me, bavin' htard 



of it, and breathed into my ear, in confidence, that 
he'd been thinkin' of doin' the same thing himself; 
knew for sure that there was money in it." 

"You don't mean it?" 

"If I didn't I wouldn't say it. And Henry's not 
the only oae — though he's the prize-winner in his par- 
tic'Iar class. There's lots of folks in Orham that 
think because a thing's been done afore by somebody 
else, who didn't know how to do it, that another man 
who tries it is a fool. A pullet can lay eggs, but she 
can't sing for a cent, whereas a canary bird makes a 
pretty good shy at it, I went into the wrcckin' busi- 
ness with my eyes open, and I knew 'twould be hard 
sleddin' first along. But I tried to make that clear to 
you, didn't I ?" 

"Look here, Cap'n Ez, if you think I'm afraid be- 
cause we haven't struck on yet, then " 

"I ain't afraid of you, Brad. I jest wanted to 
boost up my own spunk a litde, I guess. Give you 
and me a year or so to git our nets out, so to speak, 
and a grain or two of luck for seas'nin', and we'll 
make this village man the yards when we come into 
port; see if we don't. What do the old maids say?" 

"Oh I they believe I'm going to get rich, of course." 

"Of course. Well, maybe they ain't any further 
out in their reck'nin' one way than Simmons and the 
rest are the other. What does that little Baker girl 
have to say about it?" 

Bradley looked at his friend In surprise. "What?" 
he asked. 

"Yes," said the Captain. 



"Oh 1 welJ, she didn't quite like it at first, but the 
more we talk about it together the better the plan 
seems to her." 

"I presume likely you and she talk about it a good 
deal?" There wasn't the slightest flavor of sarcasm 
apparent in this question, so Bradley admitted that he 
and Gus did have a good many talks on the subject. 

And this statement wasn't an exaggeration. It had 
become a regular thing for the junior partner in the 
anchor-dragging concern to drop in at the Baker 
homestead of an evening after supper was over and 
discuss happenings and plans with Gus. The feeling 
that the girl was not so wholly at one with him in his 
hopes and ambitions as she used to be had galled 
Bradley. He resented her criticisms of the new ven- 
ture on the evening when he first told her of it. Five 
years before, he knew, she would have thought it 
"splendid" simply because he thought so. He had 
come home expecting to find her unchanged — forget- 
ting how much he had changed, himself — and now he 
determined that he would compel her to believe in him 
and his work. So he called evening after evening, 
and, in a measure, succeeded in his object ; that is, Gus 
became more and more interested and willing to listen 
while he explained his and the Captain's ideas, and 
what they might develop into. But she no longer said 
yes merely because he said it. She also had, and 
Bradley recognized it, a subtle way of changing the 
subject to one of her own choosing when she wished 
to do so, and she could tease him or please him in spite 
of himself. But these new features of her character 

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were rather fascinating than otherwise, so he came to 
think. She was decidedly Independent and had a 
very original way of looking at things. They 
agreed on some matters and agreed to disagree on 

Dancing was one of the subjects on which they 
didn't agree. Bradley considered dancing nonsensical 
and a waste of time. Gus, on the other hand, was 
very fond of it. 

"I'd rather saw wood myself," declared the former 
one evening. "There'd be about as much work In it, 
and considerably more fun. If you want to see how 
ridiculous people look when they dance, put your fin- 
gers in your ears so as to shut out the music, and then 
watch 'em." 

"Yes," replied Gus, "but there's no reason why you 
should put your fingers in your ears. Brad, for good- 
ness' sake, don't be an old man before you've hardly 
begun to be a young one I That's my one fear for 
you — that you'll grow to be as sober as an old cow, 
and as sour as — as — well, as those apple puffs I made 
yesterday and forgot to put the sugar into. You want 
to sugar your work with a little fun." 

"I like fun. I can enjoy a good play at the theatre, 
though it's mighty seldom I get the chance, and I'd 
rather play baseball than eat, even now." 

"Well, the only plays that come to Orham are 
'Ten Nights in a Barrown,' or 'Uncle Tom,' and I'm 
afraid Tm too old to play baseball without causing a 
sensation; not that I wouldn't like to," she added, 
mischievously. "But, Brad, I do like dancing, and 



there are dances here <Hice in a while, such as they are, 
and — ^well, 1 wish you danced." 

"I suppose I could manage to navigate through a 
quadrille without wrecking more than half the set, 
but a waltz would have me out of soundings in no 

"Will you try to learn if I teach you ?" 

"Think 'twill pay for the wear and tear on your 
nerves — and the furniture?" 

"I'll risk the nerves, and we need iotne new furni- 
ture, anyway. "Come ; we'll begin now. I'll hum the 
tune, and you can imagine that Bennie D.'s three-piece 
orchestra is playing 'Annie Rooney,' with their own 
variations, and that you're waltzing with — ^wcll, with 
Georgiana Bailey." 

"Great Scott 1 let's imagine something pleasant to 
begin on. All right ; here goes 1 Get out of the chan- 
nel, Winfield." 

That first lesson was certainly fun; even Bradley 
admitted that, although he insisted that his perspiring 
condition was proof positive of the work there was in 
dancing. They laughed so hard and made so much 
noise, assisted by the energetic Winfield, that old 
Mrs. Baker came downstairs, wrapped in a blanket, 
to put her head in at the sitting-room door and ask if 
the house was afire. But Gus said that her partner 
had done well for a bef^nner. 

The, "Baker Private Dancing Academy,*' as Gus 
Mfled it, held frequent sessions during the next fort- 
Qi^Kt. It was Bradley's private belief that he should 
never be a good waltzer, and he was perfectly certain 



that the lack of that accomplishment wasn't going to 
worry him, but he stuck to the "lessons," because 
they pleased Gus, and because he had said he 

One evening toward the end of the mcnth Gus said 
to him : "Brad, if you were I, would you go to the 
Decoration Day Ball?" 

She was, apparently, loc^ng as she spt^e at the 
front page of the Cape Cod Item, which lay on the 
table, and she did not turn her head. Bradley was 

"What did you say?" he asked. 

"If you were I would you go to the ball on the 
evening of Dccorati<«i Day at the Town Hall? I've 
had two invitations." 

"Humph I" The answer was somewhat hesitating. 
"I suppose I should do what I wanted to. It would 
be too bad to disappoint so many when you're so 
greatly in demand." 

"And I think that was rather spiteful. Are you 
going to the ball?" 

"To tell you the truth I didn't know there was 
going to be one. I've been so busy." 

"I supposed you didn't know. Otherwise, of 

"I should have invited my dancing teacher to go 
with me. Gus, would you have liked it if I had in- 
vited you?" 

"I should." 

"Well, I wish I had then." 

"Why don't you now?" 



"Isn't it too tate? Those other invitaticms, you 

"I haven't answered them yet." 

"Well, then, Miss Baker, may I have the pleasure 
of escorting you to the grand fandango to be held in 
the Orham Crystal Palace, under the supervision of 
His Royal Swellcdness, Mr. Solomon Bangs?" 

"You may, sir. Oh, Bradl of course I'd rather go 
with you, because '* 

"Because what?" 

"Because I want to see how my pupil locJts dancing 
with somebody else." 

Miss Prissy and her sister had been brought up to 
consider dancing as one of the baits thrown out by the 
Evil One to lure young people to destruction. So, 
when Bradley announced his intention of going to the 
ball. Miss Tempy was just a little troubled. 

"You diHi't s'pose he's gittin' — ^well, fast, do you, 
Prissy ?" she asked. 

"Land, no I" was the decided answer. "If he don't 
do anything wickeder than to hc^ 'round the Town 
Hall to music, I guess he'll be safe." 

"But father never let us dance when we were 

"I know it, but folks look at those things different 
nowadays. I wish you'd starch and iron that white 
necktie of his, Tempy. We want him to look as good 
as the next one, bein' he's an Allen." 

So Miss Tempy remembered that Lord Eric and 
all the rest of her book heroes danced, and she starch- 
ed and ironed the tie till it was a spotless, crackling 



band. And when Bradley came downstairs on the 
evening of Memorial Day, dressed in his new black 
suit, she was so proud of him that she fairly bubbled 

"I'm do look handsome!" she exclaimed. "You're 
more like father every day. Here, let me fix your' 
handkerchief so*s 'twill show at the top of your 
pocket. There, now ain't he splendid, Prissy?" 

"Handsome is that handsome does," was the prac- 
tical answer. "Be a good boy. Brad, and d<Mi't do 
anything we wouldn't like." 

Gus was prettier than ever that Dight. She was 
dressed simply in white, but when she came out of the 
dressing-room at the hall and took his arm, Bradley 
noticed that the eyes of half a dozen young men fol- 
lowed her, and that they whispered to each other. 

Mr. Solommi Bangs was floor-master, and he came 
bustling up to them. 

"We're jest goin' to start the Grand March," he 
informed them. "Take your partners and git right in 
line, please. Augusty, may I see your order? Thank 
you. I'll take the Portland Fancy, if you're willin'. 
Yes, yes, Obedl I'm comin'I Land of goodness I 
seems 's tf I couldn't git a minute's peace. I don't 
know what they'd do if I wasn't here." 

He hurried away to lead the march with Georgians 
Batley, and Bradley took his partner's "order" and 
wrote his initials against two quadrilles, the "Virginia 
Reel" and one waltz. "Round dances" were few, for 
most of the dancers were middle-aged married peo- 
ple, who had danced reels and contra-dances when 



they were young, and didn't intend to learn new steps 
at their time of life. 

"Bennie D.," his hair pasted artistically down on 
his forehead with a "spit curl" over each temple, 
stepped to the centre of the platform, tucked a hand- 
kerchief under his chin, set his vit^in against it, flour- 
ished his bow, patted his feet and swung into the tune 
for the Grand March, with the piano and 'cello limp- 
ing behind him. 

Mr. Bangs, his chest well out, his floor-master's 
badge very much in evidence and his importance even 
more so, gave his arm to Miss Bailey, got into step — 
after two or three false starts — and led off, while 
couple after couple followed him. Up and down the 
hall they paraded, going through one evolution after 
the other. Captain Jabez Bailey, who "didn't dance 
none to speak of," but was there because his wife and 
daughter had ordered him to be, distinguished him- 
self by tripping at the first turn and carrying his better 
half down with him. It was an emphatic tumble, for 
Mrs. Bailey was what her husband called "pretty sort 
of fleshy," and the chimneys in the chandeliers rattled 
when she struck the floor. Georgiana, from the head 
of the line, glared at her unfortunate parent, and, 
during the rest of the march, poor Captain Jabez 
plodded on in nervous agony, while his wife poured 
into his car her opinion of his "makin' such a show ot 
'em and mortlfyin' her 'most to death." 

Gus* "order" was filled in a few minutes after the 
first number was over; there were more applicants 
than dances. Bradley danced a quadrille with Clara 

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Hc^kins, who was pretty and jolly, and he enjoyed it 
thoroughly. He labored through a contra-dance with 
Georgiana and didn't enjoy it as much, although that 
effervescent young lady purred that she had had a 
"perfectly lovely time," and he was "lookin' so well," 
and why didn't he call at the house. 

Miss Bailey's blue silk gown had an imposing, and 
very troublesome, train and she smelt like a per- 
fumer's shop. 

During one of the infrequent "round dances," 
Bradley wandered to the smoking-room at the head 
of the stairs. "Hart" Sears and "Snuppy" Black 
were there, tt^cther with some fellows frcmi Hamiss 
and Ostable. They were discussing, with great relish, 
the various young women present, and the conversa- 
tion might have been interesting if one cared for that 
sort of thing. But Bradley didn't, and he was about 
to return to the ball room, when, to his great sur- 
prise, Captain Titcomb came up the stairs. He had a 
dripping umbrella in his hand. 

"Why, hello !" exclaimed Bradley. "I didn't know 
you were coming." 

"Hello, yourself I" retorted the Captain. "I didn't 
know you was comin' cither, so we're square on that 
hitch. It's blowin' up a reg'lar snorter outside," he 
added. "You'd think 'twas the middle of November. 
Bring an umbrella? That's good; you'll need it. 
Hold on a second till I check my duds." 

When he returned from the coat window they 
stood in the doorway looking at the dancers. 

"Sol. Bangs talked me into buyin' a ticket," re* 



marked the Captain, "and 'twas kind of dull at the 
boardin'-house, so I thought I'd run up for a spell. 
Who's here? Gusty Baker looks nice, don't she? 
I s'pose you was convoy to that craft, hey?" 

Bradley reddened and admitted that he had acted 
in that capacity. 

"Georgiana's gayer'n a tin peddler's cart, ain't 
she?" continued his partner. "Cap'n Jabc's the only 
moultin' pullet in that coop." 

He broke off suddenly and was silent for a min- 
ute or more. Bradley asked him what the matter 

"Oh, nothinM" was the hasty reply. "Quite a 
crowd here to-night. Who's the little dipper in the 
white with blue pennants in her fore-riggin' ? The 
one dancin' with Jonadab Wixon's sister's boy?" 

"That's Clara Hopkins. She's grown to be a pretty 
girl, hasn't she?" 

"Humph I You don't say I Jim Hopkins' girl. I 
wouldn't have known her." And the Captain sub- 
sided once more. 

A little while after that, as Bradley was dancing 
his "Virginia Reel" with Gus, he noticed a disturb- 
ance among the crowd of watchers at the door. He 
was in the middle of the line at the time, and "Snup- 
py" Black stood next to him. 

"Hello!" exclaimed "Snuppy." "Why, it can't 
be I By thunder, it is I Sam Hammond's come. I 
didn't know he was expected." 

Hammond It was, and in all the glory of city 
clothes and unlimited self-conlidence. When the reel 



»pas over, he came across the floor to where Gus and 
Bradley were standing. 

"How d'ye do, Gus?" he said, extending his hand; 
"I'm down for a few days. Got a vacation that I 
wasn't looking for. Came on to-night's train and 
thought I'd run up here for a little while, soon as I 
could get away from the home folks. I^t me see 
your order. Hello, Brad I How are you ?" 

He was welUdressed, still in the rather ccmspicuouft 
way, and he had an easy, masterful air about him 
that none of the country fellows had, though they all 
envied it. And he was good-lotting; that couldn't 
be denied. 

"My order is filled," said Gus, showing him the 

"Never mind; somebody'll have to give up; that's 
all. Brad, will you give me this waltz of yours ? It's 
the next number." 

"Can't spare it," replied Bradley, shortly. 

"Then I'll have Hart's schottische. I'll make it all 
right with him." And he pencilled his own initials 
over those of Sears. Gus didn't seriously object. 

"He's a tine dancer," she said, as she and Bradley 
rose for the waltz. "I shall enjoy that schottische, 
and I should have had a horrid time with Hartwell 
Sears. Now, Brad, let's see how you remember your 

The last dance was the lanciers, but as "Bennie 
D." arose to "call off," he announced that there would 
be, by special request, an "extra" — a waltz. Bradley 
had seen Hammond talking with the prompter and 

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with Mr. Bangs, and he knew whose the "special re- 
quest" was. Under other circumstances he wouldn't 
have cared so much for that waltz, but now he want- 
ed it very much indeed. 

He walked over to where Gus, flushed and laugh- 
ing, stood talking with Black, her partner in the lan- 
ciers. Just as he reached her side Sam came hurrying 
up and pushed in front of him without ceremony. 

"Gus," said Hammond, "I made Ben give us this 
waltz on purpose so that we might have it together. 
You haven't been half generous to me to-night, and 
now I'm after my pay. Come 1" 

He offered his arm, and for a moment the girl 
seemed about to take it. Then she lotted at Brad- 
ley, who, disappointed and chagrined, stood silent in 
the background. 

"Thank you very much, Sam," she said; "but this 
waltz belongs to Bradley. Come, Brad, the music is 

If any one had told Bradley previously that he 
would thoroughly enjoy a waltz, he would have 
laughed. But he enjoyed every moment of this one. 
He saw Sam's scowl as Gus stepped past him, saw the 
smile on the faces of Black and the other bystanders, 
and then they whirled away. Round and round and 
round. "Bennie D.'s" music wasn't the best in the 
world, but to Bradley just then no grand opera or- 
chestra could have played more sweetly. His feet 
seemed almost as light as his partner's, and they kept 
perfect time. 

It was over all too soon. 



"Oht" exclaimed Gus, as the music ceased; "that 
was splendid I Brad, don't ever say again that you 
can't waltz." 

Captain Tttcmnb, with Clara Hopkins on his arm, 
passed them, scouring his red face with a handker- 

"Whew I" he panted, "I must be glttin' fat and 
lazy. Didn't use to pump me out this way to dance." 

Bradley and Gus walked htnne through a stonn 
that, as the Captain had said, was much more like a 
November gale than the usual summer blow. The 
tops of the trees threshed and banged about in the 
heavy gusts and the rain came against the umbrella 
top like water from a hose. They were pretty wet 
when they reached the door. 

"I've had ever so nice a time, Brad," said Gus. 
"Thank you very much for taking me." 

"You're welcome. I've had a good time, too. I 
want to thank you for giving mc that last waltz. I 
know it meant giving up a good dancer for a poor 
one, and 'twas kind of you to do it." 

"Oh I you earned that by trying so hard to learn. 
Good night." 

There was a kettle of "pepper tea" on the back of 
the stove in the kitchen, and on the table Bradley 
found a note from Miss Tempy, saying that he must 
be sure and drink two whole cups of the tea and rub 
his chest with Blaisdell's Emulsion before he went to 
bed, so as not to catch cold. 

He did drink swne of the tea, but we fear the 
Emulsion was forgotten entirely. Bradley's brain 

I ,z,;i:, Google 


was filled with thoughts of that waltz, of Sam's dis> 
comfiture and of his own triumph. Also there were- 
other and new thoughts that kept him awake for some 
time. They were of the future, but the wrecking 
Susiness had little part in them. 
And outside the wind blew and the rain pgured. 

by Google 

BKIlAKFAST next morning was hardly begun 
when "Blount's boy" — his name was Ulysses 
Simpson Grant Blount, but no one but his 
parents ever called him by it — came to the dining- 
room door with a note for Bradley. It was from 
Captain Titcomb, and read as follows : 

"Dear Brad : 

"There's a three-master, loaded with lumber, piled 
up on the Boneyard. Come on down quick. Looks 
as if here was the chance the Titcomb-Nickerswi 
Wrecking Syndicate had been praying for. 
"Yours truly, 

"E. D. Titcomb.'^ 

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The junior partner in the "Syndicate" let Miss 
Prissy's clam fritters go by default and hurried dowa 
to the Traveler's Rest, where he found the Captain 
waiting for him. A few hours later the officers 
and crew of the Lizzie were gazing over that 
vessel's rail at the tumbling froth that covered 
the Boneyard shoal and at the hapless lumber 
schooner trembling in its midst, a dismal, lonesome 

She had struck almost bow on, but the strong tide 
had swung her stem over until she lay broadside to 
the shoal. She had heeled but little and her deck load 
of pine boards was, for the most part, still lashed in 
place. The main and mizzen masts were gone, but 
the lower part of her foremast still stood, and the 
great waves, striking against her stem, sent the light 
spray flying lengthwise almost as high as its top. The 
broken cordage streamed out in the wind, and a 
swinging block creaked and whined. On the rail by 
the after house they could read her name ; she was the 
Ruth Ginn, of Bangor. 

"The P'int life savin' crew gcrt the men about one 
o'clock this momin'," remarked Captain Titcwnb. 
"Skipper tried to anchor to ride out the gale, then got 
scared and tried to make an ofSn', got her into irwis 
and the tide did the rest. Her masts went jest after 
they took off the men. What do you think of her? 
Total loss, ain't she ?" 

Bradley hesitated. "Well," he said, "I should say 
she was, so far as being any use as a schooner is con- 
cerned. That lumber, though, is a different matter; 

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the weather would have a good deal to do with that, 
I should say." 

"The weather's goln' to clear, if I'm any jedge," 
observed his c(»npanion. "What do you -say, Bar- 

"Looks like fairin' off to me," replied Mr. Small. 
"Wind's cantin' round to the west'ard. However, I 
ain't no weather prophet. You want to ask Peleg 
Myrick if you're after weather news; he seems to 
have a special tip from heaven on gales and 

"That's so," mused the skipper. "Peleg does seem 
to have a sort of connection that way. Maybe the 
angels keep him interested in weather so's they won't 
have to listen to him pumpin' the concertina all the 
time. That and Skeezicks' howlin' Is enough to make 
a ghost grit its teeth. I cal'Iate he's at the P'int by 
this time, and we'll hunt him up pretty soon and git a 
prophecy from headquarters. But, anyhow," he add- 
ed, "I agree with you, Brad, that the schooner's gone 
to pot. The lumber might be saved. I'll go fur- 
ther'n that, I'll say that we could save a good-sized 
chunk of it, wind and weather permittin', if we got 
the chance. And I'm goin' to work mighty hard to 
git the chance. Let's run up into the cove and go 

The Lizzie sailed away f rwn the wreck that, witH 
one screaming seagull balancing himself on the 
broken foremast, looked more sad and lonely than 
ever, and anchored in the little harbor in the lee of 
the Point. Two or three catboats were moored there, 



and among them was one that the Captain recog- 

"Hello I" he exclaimed. "There's Obcd Nicker- 
son's boat. I guess that settles it; some part of her's 
insured, anyway." 

They walked through the soft white sand and 
coarse beach grass up to the life-saving staticm. The 
lookout, in the observatory on the roof, rapped on 
the window of his cage and waved a hand to them as 
they reached the plank walk leading to the door. 

Inside, seated around the table of the living room, 
they found Captain Knowles, commander of the sta- 
tion ; Obed Nickerstm, the Orham agent of the under- 
writers; the skipper of the Ruth Gtnn and two or 
three others. The skipper, a sunburned, gray-haired 
man, with a worried look on his lean face, was telling 
for Mr. Nickerson's benefit the story of how his ves- 
sel came to be in her hc^eless plight. To a landsman 
it would have been an interesting yam, but the present 
company had heard too many similar experiences to 
find anything novel in it. 

"So you figure her a total loss, do you, Cap'n?" 
asked Mr. Nlckerson, making a few notes in his mem- 
orandum book. 

"Well, there she is ! You can see for yourself," 
was the answer. "Her sticks gone, and hard and fast 
on the Boneyard — if she ain't a total loss, I don't 
know what you call her." 

"Insured, ts she, Obed?" asked Captain TitoMnb. 

"Cargo is; schooner ain't," replied the under- 
writers' agent. 



Captain Ezra signalled to Bradley, and they went 
out on the porch. 

"Brad," whispered the Captain, "they can't call 
her anything but a total loss. The underwriters'H 
pay the insurance on that lumber and then dicker with 
somebody to save what they can of it. You and me 
want to be that somebody. Hello I here's Pclcgl" 

The versatile Mr. Myrick had tramped over from 
his hermitage, and now, with Skcezicks shivering at 
his heels, was deep in conversation with Barney Small. 

"Peleg says we're goin' to have clear weather for 
quite a spell," remarked Barney. "Let's see; when 
did you say you had the next storm scheduled, 

"Wall," drawled the weather prophet, looking be- 
comingly important; "nigh's I can figger, Cap'n Ez, 
she'll fair off by afternoon and stay clear for more'n 
a fortni't. We ain't due to have another reel genu- 
wine blow for more'n a month. / knew last night's 
gale was comin'. I told Cap'n Knowles so ; says I, 'I 
dcm't care what the Gov'ment folks says, it's goin' to 
blow,' says I, 'like time, and them that's afloat want* 
to stand by,' I says. Now " 

"That's right, Pel^," broke in the Captain. "I'll 
back you against the Weather Bureau eight days in 
the week and twice on Sunday. How's clams thes< 

"Clams," replied Mr. Myrick, "is scurcer'n all git 
out. I don't know why unless 'twas the turrible hard 
winter. I was afraid of it last fall. 'Course I knew 
the hard winter was conin' and I told folks so. Oh I 



that reminds me! What's this I hear 'bout Sain 
Hammwid's spendin' more'n four dollars for cigars 
last time he was home? Do you cal'late that's so?" 

They left Barney to relieve Mr. Myrick's anxiety 
concerning the cigars and walked down to the beach.. 
On the way Captain Titcomb said: 

"Brad, we've got to git this lumber job. It's the 
kind of job we can do with the Lizzie, and, figgerin' 
on a commission basis, it'll give us pretty nigh money 
and start enough to warrant our havin' a new 
schooner built, one with power and strong enough to 
handle the real big things. Wait here by the dory 
till Obed cCHiies out; I'm layin' for him." 

"Cap'n Ez, do you really take any stock in Peleg's 
weather talk?" 

"Why, I don't know but I do. Everybody along 
this shore does. He hits it right full as often as the 
Gov'ment folks, and, in my jedgment, consider'ble 
further ahead. I'll give in that it sounds foolish to 
think a bow-legged sandpeep with a sprained brain 
like Peleg's can know about the Lord Almighty's 
gales and such, but sometimes I think that about ha'f 
of Peleg's loft was to let, so's to speak, and the 
weather jest sort of moved in. Now most people 
ain't got more'n a tenth of the space In their noddles 
to give to that bus'ness, and so Brother Myrick has 
the advantage of 'em." 

Bradley laughed. Personally he believed little in 
the hermit's value as a prophet, although he knew 
that the Captain's faith was shared by almost every- 
body in Orham. 



"You give up only half of Pelcg's brain to the 
weather," he said. "What do you think fills the rest 
of it?" 

"Clams, other folks' bus'ness and that cverlastin' 
concertina," was the quick reply. "That ha'f mast be 
as lively as a sailor's dance hall and as full of Bedlam 
as the monkey cage in the circus. Here comes Obed. 
Now, then I" 

Mr. Nickerscm, accwnpanied by one of the village 
toys, was on his way to the catboat, but the Captaiff 

"What in the nation are you goin' home in that 
clam shell for, Obed?" he asked. "Come on aboard 
the Lizzie with us. Brad and Barney and I will land 
you at the wharf afore that cat of yours is out of 
shoal water. Let Dan there take your boat home, 
and you come with us. I've got a cigar I want you to 
take out some 6re insurance on." 

So, after some persuasion, the underwriters' agent 
consented to make his homeward trip in the schooner. 
The cigars were lighted, Barney Small took the wheel 
and the Captain, Bradley and Mr. Nickerson made 
themselves comfortable in the little cabin. Then the 
convcrsatlcHi was judiciously piloted toward wrecks, 
and the wreck of the Ruth Ginti In particular. Obed 
admitted that the full insurance would undoubtedly 
be paid on the cargo, although, of course, the official 
"three man survey" must come first. Bradley asked 
what would be done after that. 

"Oh!" answered the agent; "then I guess I'll send 
word to the Boston Salvage Company and make a 

L, ,z,;i.,C00gIC 


deal with them to git out what they can of the Iuni< 

"Yes," observed Captain Titcomb, "and they'll 
charge you seventy-five per cent, of the value. What's 
the matter with Brad and me doin' it ?" 

"Youf What with— this tub?" 

"Yup, this tub. If you've got a loose tooth a 
string and a door'll snake it out as quick as the dentist 
will, and you don't have to pay for silver-plated 
pinchers and a gilt name-plate. Come now, tell you 
what I'll do: Brad and me'U git that lumber out for 
sixty per cent, on what we save." 

"How you goin' to do it? You haven't got a tow- 
boat, nor even power in your own schooner." 

"Don't need *em. You couldn't start that wreck 
with a towboat without yankin' the bottom out of 
her. The only way to fetch her off the shoals is with 
anchors and cables, and you know it. We can do 
that as well as any Bostcm comp'ny that ever was. 
Give us a chance, Obed. You ought to encourage 
home talent, as Bill Samuels said to the school teacher 
that found fault with him 'cause he told his boy to 
spell cat with a K. What do you say?" 

Obed had a good deal to say, and no decision was 
reached that forenoon. Next day the survey was 
made, and that evening the Captain spent at the hmne 
of Mr. Nickerson. It was after eleven o'clock when 
he returned to his rocMn at the Traveller's Rest, where 
Bradley was waiting. 

"Well?" said Bradley, anxiously. 

"Well [" exclaimed his partner, tossing his cap on 



a chair and wiping the perspiration from his hot fore- 
head; "well, Brad, I've used up jaw power enough to 
pretty nigh work that wreck off, but the job's ours at 
fifty per cent, of the value of the lumber we save. 
There's nigh on to six thousand dollars' worth aboard 
and, if Peleg's forecastin' works haven't got indiges- 
tion, we ought to clean up close to every stick of it. 
Brad, shake I" 

And they shook hands. The opportunity they had 
been waiting for was theirs at last. 

I'he pa'rtners talked for another hour before they 
separated. Three extra hands, at least — so the Cap- 
tain figured — would be needed on the Lizzie. Brad- 
ley was in favor of hiring more than three, arguing 
that every day counted, because one severe storm 
would break up the stranded schooner, and, there- 
fore, speed in accomplishing the work was the first 
consideration. But Captain Titcomb believed that 
three was sufficient. 

"Peleg says no gale for a month and I'm bettin' on 
that weather plant in his skull," he argued. "And, 
say ! I b'lieve I'll hire Peleg himself for one. He's 
a good worker, and he'll work cheap. I'll git Bill 
Taylor for another. He lives at the P'int most of the 
year, and he's a wrecker in a ^mall way himself. 
You'd better go over to Harniss to-morrer and see if 
you can't git one of the Bearse boys. That'll make 
the three. Good night, Brad. Keep a stiff upper Up. 
We've got the chance; now it's up to us to win the 
cup or run her under— one or t'other." 

So the next forenoon Bradley took the train to 



Harntss, where he found Alvin, oldest of the Bearse 
"bo^," a gray-headed, leather-faced youngster of 
fifty-live, and engaged him for the sum of three dol- 
lars a day and his keep. He was to report on board 
at half-past seven the following morning. Then, 
having accomplished his share of the hiring, the 
junior partner returned to Orham to inspect the Liz- 
zie with nervous care and to listen to the remarks of 
a dozen or more disinterested acquaintances who, 
having heard of the contract, had come down to the 
wharf to prophesy and ofler advice. 

The prophecies were mostly of the Jeremiah 
brand. It was the general opinion that the wreck- 
ing schooner was too small for the work and that 
Captain Titcomb "ought to have known it." Cap- 
tain Jabez Bailey summed up professional opinion as 

"It 'pears to me, Brad," he observed, "speakin' as 
man to man, t'lat you fellers have bit off more'n you 
can chaw. It's what you might expect of Ez Tit- 
comb, though. Nobody else would think of buckin' 
against the Boston Salvage Company with a two- 
masted soup ladle like that, and with no power in her. 
All I can say is that, for your sake, Brad, I hope 
you'll make a dollar or two, but I'm 'fraid that, as I 
said a minute ago, you've bit off more'n you can chaw. 
Speakin' of chawin', Bluey, lend me your plug, won't 
you? I left mine to home." 

After this and similar applications of the cold 
water treatment, it was a relief to get back to the big 
house on the hill and to receive the enthusiastic cchi- 



gratulatiwis of the "old maids." There was no doubt 
of success in their minds, and when Miss Busteed 
called to leam further particulars and to offer con- 
dolences, she got, as Miss Prissy said afterwards, "as 
good as she sent." 

"Of course," concluded Melissa, after repeating, 
■with her own embellishments, all the discouraging re- 
marks of the townspeople concerning the lumber con- 
tract; "of course, I don't agree with everything that's 
said; not by no means, I don't. But folks do talk 
about Ez Titcomb ; you Itnow they do, Prissy. Sarah 
Emma Gage was sayin' this very momln', says she, 
'Melissy,' says she, 'I s'pose Prissy and Tempy know 
what they're about, but I'm free to confess I'm glad it 
ain't my boy that's in partners with Ez Titcwnb,' says 

"Humph 1" snapped Miss Tempy, "I guess she 
ain't any gladder than Cap'n Titccnnb is <mi that sub- 
ject. If he couldn't git anybody better'n Ben Gage I 
cal'late he'd shet up shop I" 

"Yes, I know," went on Melissa, "but Sarah 
Emma is a great talker. 'Nother thing she said that 
was foolish — perfectly foolish — and I told her so. 
She brought up how Cap'n Ez used to call here at 
your house and how he didn't come no more. Said 
'twas a shame. 'But then,' she says, ' 'tain't any 
morc'n he's done to ha'f a dozen other women that 
he's kept comp'ny with.' " 

Both the sisters reddened and Miss Prissy exclaim- 
ed, indignantly, "Sarah Emma Gage better mind her 
own affairs. She's the wust gossip in town — pretty 



nigh the wust, anyway." The ]ast as a delicate sub- 
stitute for "present company excepted." 

"Oh I of course I laffed at her for sayin' that!" 
went on the caller. "I says to her, 'Sarah Emma,' 
says I, 'Prissy and Tempy have lived single too long 
and are too old to think of gittin' married at their 
time of life. That would be too ridic'iousl' I says." 
, Miss Tcrapy's sensitive lip trembled a little, but her 
sister came serenely to the rescue. 

"Yes, we're gittin' old, Melissy," she observed, 
sweetly, "that's a fact. I can remember when I was a 
little tot in school and you was wearin' long gowns 
and puttin' your hair up, how I wished I was as old 
as you. And now folks would hardly notice any 
diff 'rence between us, fur's looks go. What ? You 
must be goin' Oh, don't hurry! Well, let me git 
your things. How this bonnet of yours does wear, 
Melissy I You've had it much as six seasons, and It's 
only when you git close to it that it loolcs the least 
mite frayed. Good-by. Call again, won't you ? 
There I" as the owner of the highly Battered bonnet 
flounced down to the gate, "I guess she can put that 
in her pipe and smoke it. Don't feel bad, Tempy. 
Melissy Busteed's like a dose of old-fashioned medi- 
cine; she always leaves a bad taste behind her." 

Bradley called on Gus that evening. He had been 
so busy with Captain Titcomb, planning and working 
for the new contract, that he had seen her but once, 
and then only for a moment, since the night of the 
ball. But now, full of hope and the triumph of hav- 
ing secured the chance he had longed for, he looked 



forward to telling; her the good news znd receiving 
her congratulations. 

The windows of the Baker "best parlor" were 
lighted up — a most unusual occurrence — and he 
vaguely wondered if they had "company" and who 
it might be. 

Gus herself opened the door in response to his 

"Why, hello!" she said. "I wandered if you had 
forgotten me entirely, Mr. Contractor, now that you 
really are a business man and the talk of the town." 

"Then you knew?" he exclaimed in surprise. 

"Why, of course I knew! I haven't heard any- 
thing else all day. And, to make it certain, Melissa 
called on grandmother this afternoon, just after she 
had been at your house." 

Bradley smiled ruefully. "You must have heard 
an encouraging yam from her," he said. "Have you 
got company?" 

"Oh I only a friend of ours that you know. Come 
right into the parlor." 

He walked across the threshold of that sacred 
apartment to iind Sam Hammond seated in the hair- 
cloth rocker and looking very much at home. Neither 
of the young men appeared particularly happy at 
meeting the other, but, truth to tell, Hammond was 
the more self-possessed. 

"Hello, Bradl" he said, easily. "I've heard noth- 
ing but you and Cap'n Ez since breakfast. I'm glad 
for you; it's a nice little job, if you can carry it out." 

The contract had seemed anything but a little (xie 



to Bradley, and this nonchalant way of referring to it- 
took him down a bit. Hammond continued in the 
same condescending way. 

"I don't believe I should know how to handle a job 
like that," he observed, "without power or towboats, 
or things of that sort. It would be like working with 
your hands tied. Our people have everything to do 
with, and they'd have that lumber oR in no time. Did 
I ever tell you how we raised the Margrave for the 
Barclay Line folks, Gus? That was a job there was 
stnne fun in 1 She was a big iron steamer that ran on 
the ledge at the mouth of Boston harbor and went 
down. We got the contract right in the face of the 
Salvage Company in their own town." 

He went on to tell of the raising of the great 
Steamer; how the divers, of which he was one, worked 
for days and weeks in the iron hull, building a second 
bottom of wood above the splintered keel plates; how, 
when this was done, they caulked the wooden bottom, 
pumped out the water above it, and floated the vessel 
into the dry dock. There were adventures with a 
shark that came in through the hole and "went wild" 
when it couldn't find the way out; a narrow escape 
from death because of a twisted air-pipe, and much 
more, all well told. 

Gus listened with her eyes shining. Bradley lis- 
tened and his own little three thousand dollar contract 
shrunk and shrunk until, from a wonder that was to 
be accomplished in the face of great odds, it became 
a trifle hardly worth doing at all. Sam spoke of the 
Metropolitan Wrecking Company as "we," and 



Bradley forgot that the speaker was, after all, only a 
hired diver at Eve or six dollars a day. 

"Oh 1" exclabned Gus, when the tale was finished, 
"what splendid things men do, and how Hne tt must 
be to do them I" 

"Yes," laughed Hammond. "We got eighty thou- 
sand dollars for raising the Margrave. Worth fight- 
ing for; hey, Brad? How would you and Cap'n Ez 
look tackling a job like that? New York's the place; 
a young fellow has chances there." 

Sam did most of the talking. Gus listened and 
Bradley brooded. Perhaps, he thought, he had made 
a mistake in leaving the big city; perhaps, after all, 
he was destined to become nothing but the " 'long- 
shoreman" Gus had intimated might be his fate. 
Captain Titcomb didn't think so, but he might be mis- 
taken. He grew more downcast every minute. 

"I tell you, honest. Brad," said Sam, with apparent 
earnestness, "I don't see how you and the Cap'n are 
going to make much out of this business or get to be 
anything more than just anchor-draggers. Speaking 
as a man with some experience In wrecking, your 
chances against the big chaps, like our crowd, lock 

small to me. You may win out, but " He shook 

his head doubtfully. 

Gus, at Hammond's request, seated herself before 
the squeaky old parlor organ and played while she 
and Sam sang. Bradley, who didn't sing, sat on the 
sofa and watched them gloomily. All day he had 
been in that excited nervous state where criticism or 
en',*>uragement affected his spirits as the weather does 



a barometer. The doleful prophecies at die wharf— 
although at another time he would have laughed at 
them — ^had depressed him in spite of himself. The 
whole-hearted joy and confidence of the "old maids" 
had cheered him up again, but now he was realizing 
that, after all, it was Gus's encouragement and cmi- 
gratulation that he wanted, and she had not congratu- 
lated him. 

At length he rose to go, giving as an excuse the 
fact of his being tired and having to be up early next 
morning. Gus apologized to Sam and accompanied 
him to the door. She came out on the step ; it was a 
beautiful ntght, clear and calm, with every star shin- 

Bradley put on his hat. "Well, good night," he 
said, shortly. 
. But Gus laid her hand on his coatsleeve. 

"Oh, Brad!" she exclaimed in an eager whisper, 
"Fm so glad youVe got your chance at last I It's 
splendid 1 Every one thinks so." 

Bradley smiled rather bitterly. "Not every wie, I 
guess," he said. "Some people think it doesn't amount 
to much, and I don't know but they're right." 

Gus shook her head impatiently. "Dcm't talk that 
way, Brad I" she cried. "I said every <Kie thinks it's 
splendid, and so they do ! They may not say so, but 
that's because they're envious." 

"Humph I Does that include Sam?" 

"Of course it does 1 Couldn't you see? He envies 
you and that is why he talks so big about New York. 
And he knows you're going to succeed, too. Oh, 

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Brad 1 you ought not to speak of 'not amounting to 
much,' now, when your opportunity is here. You 
ought to he as proud and confident of yourself as I 
am proud and confident of you." 

She said it in such a hurst of enthusiasm that it 
swept Bradley off his feet. He turned and grasped 
her by both hands. 

"Gus!" he whispered, looking straight into her 
eyes, "do you believe in me as much as that?" 

She did not shun his look. "Yes," she answered, 
simply, "I do." 

Goodness knows what might have happened then. 
Perhaps Gus was afraid to wait and see. At all 
events, she snatched her hands from his, whispered 
"good night," and ran into the house. 

Bradley's discouragement had vanished. Every 
foot of the walk to the "old maids' " door was arched 
with a separate rainbow. It had been anything but a 
bad evening, after all. 

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^^* ND there she isl" said Captain Titcomb, 
/% standing beside Bradley in the bow of the 
^ftlb Lizzie. "There she is, just where we left 
her. Here's hopin' she don't quit till we want her to. 
Run along under her stem, Barney; tide's goin' out, 
but there's water encnigh there." 

It was the morning of the second day following 
the securing of the wrecking contract. The Lizzie, 
with Bradley, the Captain, and Alvin Bearse aboard, 
had left the Orham wharf an hour or more before. 
They had stopped at the Point to pick up Peleg My- 
rick and Bill Taylor, the new hands, whose services 
the Captain had secured without much trouble. The 
only difficulty had been in persuading Mr. Myrick to 
leavt Skeezicks at the shanty. This had been over- 
come, however, and the shivering pup, locked in the 

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-00m that was Peleg's sitttng-room, dining-room and 
kitchen, had howled a sad farewell through the crack 
of the door. His master had left a liberal supply of 
food to console his pet, and had explained the situa* 
tion thoroughly to the dog before locking him up. 

*'He feels kind of bad now," said Pcleg, looking 
sorrowfully back at the weather-beaten shanty, frtwn 
which faint, muffled howls Soated in dismal cadences, 
"but I've told him that I felt's though I'd ought to 
take the job, and he'll git over it by and by. Jest like 
a human, that dog is, jest exactly." 

They tried to persuade the weather prophet to 
leave his concertina behind, but that was a trifle too 
much ; Peleg brought it with him, wrapped in an old 

Barney ran the little wrecking schooner under the 
tilted stern of the Ruth Gtnn, and Bradley sprang 
from the shrouds to the rail of the stranded craft. 
Then, one by one, all but Barney, who stayed behind 
to look after the Lizzie, they clambered aboard the 
wreck. Most of the hard pine boards that formed 
. the deck-load were in place, having been lashed well 
and being out of the reach of the heaviest seas, which 
had spent their force on the stern and after portion of 
the vessel. 

"So fur, so good," observed the Captain, cheer- 
fully. "Now, Alvin, you go below and see how 
things look there. Peleg, try her with the pumps; 
let's see if she's leakln' much. Brad, come here and 
take a squint at this windlass." 

The r^tent windlass was in good condition, and 

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so also, to their delight, was the donkey engine. Pe> 
leg, working manfully at the pump, reported that she 
had some water in her, but that it didn't "seem to be 
gainin' none." 

"That's all right 1" said the Captain. "If she 
ain't a sieve, she'll do. She's plumb full of lumber 
and you can't sink that. Barney!" he hailed, "run 
over into the deep water at the lee of the shoal there, 
and anchor. Then take the dory and come aboard; 
we want to git to work." 

Then Bradley got steam up in the donkey engine 
and the big anchor of the Ruth Gtnn, attached to a 
heavy cable, was lowered carefully until its shank 
rested across the stem of the dory. To this main 
cable, near its middle, were spliced two others just as 
heavy ; to each of these another anchor was made fast. 
The dories were rowed out ahnost at a right angle 
from the wreck into the deep water. Then the anchors 
were thrown overboard and a three-fingered iron 
hand, with its spread talons deep in the sand, held the 
lumber schooner fast. 

"Now, Brad," commanded the Captain, "haul that 
line taut." 

Bradley started his engine, the windlass turned, 
and the cable, that had hung loose from the bow of 
the wreck, lifted from the water and tightened till it 

"All she'll stand, is it?" asked the skipper. 
"Good I make her fast. They say tide'Il wait for no 
-nan, so I guess we'll have to do the next best thing 
and wait for the tide. Now boys I" as the men 



climbed aboard from the dories, "git to work and 
strip her." 

It is always the tide at Setucktt. The tide, tearing 
around the Point, day after day, year after year, has 
scoured out the narrow ship channel and piled up 
tbe shoals. The tide, catching the unwary coasting 
vessel or homeward-bound ship driven into its 
clutches by its ally the on-shore gale, coaxes the strug- 
gling victim in, little by little, until, all at once, it . 
grips her in triumph and throws her bodily upon the 
soft, treacherous sand bars. And there, unless the 
wreckers come to the rescue, she lies until the next - 
storm, when wind and tide tear her into fragments 
and leave nothing but a sunken, ragged hulk to be 
blown up, eventually, by the men employed by the 
government to keep the ocean highways clear. 

But, curiously enough, the same tide that forces 
the vessels on the shoals is the wreckers' greatest aid 
in getting them afloat again. A steam tug is rarely 
of much use in these waters. No pull that these stout 
little workers can give is sufficient to start a heavy 
craft with its keel deeply buried in the sand. Anchors 
and cables, and the tide, do the business, if it is done 
at all. 

Bradley and the Captain knew that they could not 
hope to get oat all the lumber in the hold of the Ruth 
Ginn if she was allowed to lie In her present exposed 
position. One more gale and she would be almost 
certain to break up. Their hope was to lighten her 
by getting rid of her deck load and to work her off 
the shoal into d^ep water and then tow her up to 



Orhatn harbor, where she could be unloaded at their 

She lay almost broadside to the shoal, but not 
quite. Her bow was well up on the sand, but her 
stem overhung the edge of the Boneyard, which, on 
that side, was, as Captain Titcomb said, "steep as 
the back of a bam." The cable, tight as the steam 
windlass could draw it, led ofi from her bow to the 
spot where the anchors were planted under many 
fathoms of water. Where the tide turned, its pres- 
sure against the schooner would bring her to bear 
on the cable with a tremendous pull. The waves, 
growing larger as the water deepened, should, if their 
plan was a good one, loosen her keel in the sand, and 
every inch she gave the cable would retain. The 
more she loosened, the easier she would move. The 
slack thus made in the cable would be taken up by 
the windlass. She might gain but a foot a day for 
awhile, but, some day or other, if the weather held 
fair, she would have worked herself through the sand 
and dear of the shoal. 

They stripped her, cutting away her tangled ropes 
and sails and taking them aboard the Lizzie. Every- 
thing movable, except of course the lumber, they 
transferred thus or threw overboard. It was a hard 
job and took them all day. Bradley was a tired man 
when he reached home that night, but he had to an- 
swer countless questions put to him by the interested 
"old maids." He saw Gus for a moment or two and 
reported progress. Then he went to bed. 

Next morning was clear and calm and they were 



delighted to find that the wrecked schooner had 
gained a little and that the cable was slacker than 
they left it. They tightened it again, with the wind- 
lass, and then set to work throwing overboard the 
lumber on the deck. They rigged a tackle on the 
stump of the foremast and, with the donkey engine, 
swung great bundles of the planks overboard, while 
Alvin and Barney, standing on the floating timber, 
with the water swashing around the knees of their 
fishermen's boots, made it into rafts to be towed up to 

Here it was that the partners appreciated the lack 
of an engine on the Lizzie. 

"I tell you one thing, Brad I" exclaimed the Cap- 
tain, pausing to cut a splinter from his thumb with an 
enormous jackknife which had seen years of service, 
"if we make good on a few more jobs like this, we'll 
have a new schooner built for us if we have to run 
in debt for it till we can't touch bottom. This 
pitchin' hay with a two-tined table-fork ain't my 

That night they hired Ira Sparrow's fishing boat, 
the You and I, to tow the lumber rafts. She was a 
stout little craft with a naphtha engine, and, although 
not nearly so efficient as a tug, did the work after a 
fashion and was far and away cheaper. By hiring 
her they added Ira to their force. 

For eight 'days they labored steadily; except on 
Sunday, when they merely sailed down to take up the 
slack on the cable. The lumber on the deck had been 
rafted to Orham and they had begun to get out that 



in the hold. The Ruth Ginn was moving slowly 
through the sand and every day showed more and 
more gain. The partners were in high spirits. 

"She's a-ccanin', Brad! she's a-comin'l" exulted 
Captain Titcomb. "Peleg says clear and fine for a 
fortni't yit. We've got out enough now to pay 
expenses, but that don't count. What we're after 
is to git it all, and, if stHnethin' don't bust, we'll 
do it." 

The whole town was interested in the work. Brad- 
ley was waylaid by dozens of people every night. 
The prophets of calamity had already begun to 
hedge, although, of course, they were agreed that, if 
success did come, it would do so because the partners 
were lucky and had had good weather. "Ez Tit- 
comb and a fool for luck," was the way Captain 
Jabez Bailey put it. 

The old maids grew more exultant with every even- 
ing's report. 

"Ain't it splendid. Prissy?" Miss Tempy would 
cry, clapping her hands and waving the dishcloth, 
"How much did you make to-day, Bradley?" 

Gus was just as much pleased, but more philosophi- 

"I knew you'd win. Brad," she said. 

The sisters were very anxious to see how the work 
was done. 

*'0h, dear I" sighed Miss Tempy, "I'd give any- 
thing to be down at the Point and watch you work. 
Seems's if I must go I" 

"You wouldn't be able to see much without a 

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glass," was Bradley's answer. "We're a mile and a 
half off the Point." 

"Father's glass is up garret. Oh, Brad I can't we 

They were so eager and the weather was so warm 
and pleasant that Bradley began to think it might be 
possible to arrange for a picnic at the Point. He 
hesitated about suggesting it to the Captain, however, 
because he was not quite sure how the latter would 
like spending a day with the ladies whom he had so 
unceremoniously dropped from his visiting list. But 
his first hint was received with great cordiality. 

"Sure thing I" said Captain Titcmnb. "Mighty 
good idea, Brad. I ain't been to a beach picnic for I 
don't know when. Let's see; who'll we ask? The 
old maids, of course; and Gusty Baker, maybe — 
what do you think about havin' her, Brad? Oh! all 
right; you needn't look at me like that. And p'raps 
Eri Hedge and Perez Ryder and Cap'n Jerry might 
come. They'd be comp'ny for Prissy and Tempy. 
Eri's a great feller to train and carry on and he'd 
enjoy a cruise like this. Then we ought to have some 
girls to be comp'ny for Gusty. She won't want to 
hang 'round the beach all day and do nothin' but 
squint through a spyglass at you, so dcm't flatter your- 
self she will. Might ask Georgiana Bailey, so's to 
give tone to the outfit? No? Well, I don't care 
much for high society, myself. How about that Hop- 
kins girl — Clara, seems to me her name was?" 

So the excursion was decided upon for the very 
next day, and that evening Bradley went about issuing 



invitations. He kept closely to the Captain's list aj»J 
Perez Ryder was tiic only one of those suggested who 
felt obliged to decline. Captain Perez was caretaker 
at a big summer house on the "cliff road" and, as the 
family was coming from the city in a day or so, there 
were preparations to be made. 

"Peleg said good weather for to-day," declared 
Captain Titcomb next morning, when laden with 
baskets and boxes, the excursion party gathered at tKe 
wharf. "Thinks I, 'My son, you don't know wha't 
you're prophesyin' against: if a picnic can't raise m 
shower then nothln' will.' But here 'tis, line as a fid- 
dle, spite of the handicap. No use talkin', Peleg'i 
got the Old Farmer's Almanac beat a mile. 
Land sake, Prissy I what you got in that clothes 

" 'Taint a clothes basket, Cap'n Ezra. How you 
do talk I It's jest a plain lunch basket, and there's 
things to eat in it, if you must know." 

"Things to eat! Say, Brad, you didn't invite this 
crowd for a week's cruise, did you? There's enough 
in that basket to vittle a man-o'-war. And Tcmpy's 
got one too! What's that other thing you've got, 
Tempy — a spyglass?" 

"Yes; one that b'longed to father. We're goin* 
to watch you and Bradley at work on the wreck." 

"Qnrmxstee! Did you hear that, Brad? You've 
got to behave yourself to-day. No drinkin' out of 
the jug, and then chasin' Peleg with a hatchet; you've 
got to keep sober." 

And, winking at Captain Eri, who was silently en- 



joying Miss Tempy'a horrified expression, the Cap- 
tain led the way aboard the Lizzie. 

They had a fair wind down and the sail was a 
jolly one. Arriving at the Point, they landed the vis- 
itors, and picked up Bill Taylor and Mr. Myrick. 
- Miss Tempy begged to be allowed to stay rai board 
and go oS with them to the wreck, but the Captain 
wouldn't hear of it. 

"Last time I took a woman out back of the P'int 
here," he said, "was over ten years ago. She was a 
minister's wife and her husband was with her. We 
was tryin' for bluefish, and when he'd heave his line 
she'd screech like a foghorn and beg of him not to 
git drownded for her sake. Way I looked at it, she 
was his best excuse for wantin' to be drownded. 
Well, we got out where 'twas pretty rugged, and 
every time the boat rolled she'd jump and hold out 
her arms to me like she was goin' to grab me 'round 
the neck. Bein' a bashful man, I pretty nigh had 
heart disease 'fore we got ashore. 'Course you 
wouldn't do nothin' like that, Tempy, but " 

"The idea 1" exclaimed Miss Tempy, turning very 

"Reminds me of a woman I took out sailin' once," 
observed Captain Eri. "She kept sayin' she was 
havJn' an 'adorable time,' and when 'twan't that 
'twas, 'Oh, Cap'n Hedge I are you sure it's perfectly 
safe?' or 'Cap'n, you're sartin you know how to han- 
dle the boat, ain't you?' Fm'lly she looks down the 
centre-board well, throws up both hands and whoops, 
'I knew it I I knew it I we're sinkin' 1 There's a hole 



right through the bottom of die boat and it's full oi 
water 1' " 

So Miss Tempy gave up the idea of going off to the 
wreck and contented herself with the possession of 
the spyglass. Captain Eri and Captain Jerry, laden 
with the lunch baskets, led the way up to the big 
empty shanty that had sheltered thirty men in the old 
days when Point fishing was a paying industry, and 
the Lizzie, with the workers aboard, headed for the 
Ruth Ginn. 

Ira Sparrow, in the You and I, was there already, 
and the "chug! chug!" of his naphtha engine was 
heard as he came rushing to meet them. 

"Brad! Cap'n Ez!" he hailed, as soon as they 
were in shouting distance. "She's shifted like time 
in the night ! I swan, I b'lieve we can git her off this 

This was such unexpected good news, for they had 
figured on another week at least, that the partners 
could scarcely believe it. 

"Are you sure?" shouted Bradley, leaning over the 
Lizzies bow. 

"Pretty nigh sure, Ijx>k for yourself." 

They shot up to the wreck, to find the cable, that 
had been left tight and rigid, hanging loose. An in- 
experienced eye could see that the lumber schooner 
had changed her position. Her bowwas now almost 
in a line with the edge of the shoal and, even in the 
slack water of the last of the ebb, she was rocking 
appreciably in the cradle her hull had made In the 
Band beneath it. 



"Great scissors to grind I" shouted Captain Tit- 
comb. "She'll do it as sure as I'm a foot high ! Tum- 
ble aboard there, boys ! lively I" 

They clambered up the side and fell to work like 
sharks around a. dead whale. Bradley got up steam 
in the donkey engine. As soon as possible they start- 
ed the windlass and hauled the cable taut. 

"She feels it, boy; she feels it!" cried the Captain. 
"Give it to her I every pound she'll stand. Now, 
then," he added, "while we're waitin' for the tide to 
turn we might's well roust out, a little more of the 
cargo. No use to lay back and let Providence do it 
all. The Lord helps tfaem that helps themselves, as 
the darkey said when he found the hen-house door 
unlocked. Hatches ofE, men! dive into it there!" 

They rigged the blocks and tackle and began 
swinging bundles of mahogany strips from the hold 
and over the side. The tide turned and the water 
on the shoa! grew deeper. The Rulh Ginn rocked in 
her sand cradle ; every little while they hove taut on 
the cable in order to take up every inch of slack. 

It was exhilarating, exciting work, this fight with 
old ocean, and Bradley and the Captain gloried in the 
sheer joy of it. They were winning, and winning not 
only a goodly sum of money, but the first big prize 
that would demonstrate their ability to carry through 
larger and more important contracts. The foreno<Mi 

"They expected us ashore for dinner long ago," 
panted the skipper, standing by the hatch, his coat 
and cap off and the wind blowing his hair this way 

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and that; "but they'll have to take it out in cxpectin'. 
I wouldn't quit now if the Pres'dent of the United 
States was waitin' for me and the turkey gittin' cold; 
hey, Brad?" 

"I should say not 1" replied the junior partner, his 
jeyes snapping. "What's that? Didn't she move 
f then ?" 

"Cap'n Ezl" bellowed Ira, from the You and I. 
"She's movin' 1 come up cm your cable." 

The Captain jumped to the windlass and Bradley 
to his engine. The cable tightened, and slowly, inch 
by inch, wound back over the windlass barrel. From 
beneath the Ruth Ginit came a sliding, grating sound, 
the most welcome sound in the world to the wreckers. 
Bearse, picking up a heavy coil of rope from the deck, 
tossed it to Ira. 

"That's the stuff, Alvin!" roared the Captain, ap- 
provingly. "Make it fast in the bows. Now, Ira I 
put your power onto that line." 

The You and I leaped out into deep water and, 
with her naphtha engine coughing furiously, pulled 
doggedly at the new tow line. The grating under 
the keel of the lumber schooner grew louder; she 
quivered from stem to stem. The cable crept in- 
;board faster and faster. 

Then there came a shake, a roll that caused Mr. 
Myrick to lose his footing and tumble into the scup- 
pers, and, with a triumphant wallow, the Ruth Ginn 
slid off the shoal. And from her deck, and from that 
of the You and I, went up a yell that scared the gulls 
fishing away over on the Razorback. 

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They drew her into the channel, well out of danger, 
and anchored her firmly, bow and stern. 

"There!" said the Captain, triumphantly. "She'll 
stay there till we can get a tug from Vineyard Haven. 
We'll go ashore and telephone from the life-saving 
station for one this minute. No more work to-day, 
boys. They're waitin' dinner for us, and we've i 
earned it." 

That the good news was already known on the 
beach was plain. On the roof of the big shanty some- 
one — it was Captain Eri — was seated, waving a flag 
made of a coat tied to a weir pole. As the Lizzie and 
the You and I ran into the cove the picnic party came 
hurrying to meet them. 

"Now then I" shouted Captain Jerry, waving his 
hat; "three cheers for the wreckers I Hooray I'* 

And Miss Tempy's handkerchief sailed off on the 
breeze as she let go of it in her excitement. 

The Captain ran up to the life-saving station to 
telephone to Sam Hardy an order to wire Vineyard 
Haven to send a tug at once. When he came back 
dinner was ready. 

It was a tiptop shore dinner; baked clams, clam 
chowder, fried plaice-fish, and all the pies, apple puffs 
and cake that had filled the lunch baskets. Bradley 
was too excited to eat much and the old maids were a 
little worried in consequence. 

While the ladies washed the dishes the men smoked 
and spun yams. It was after three o'clock when they 
finished. Then they dragged Peleg Myrick into the 
shanty and made him play the concertina, while they 



danced "Hull's Victory," "Speed the Plough," and 
the ever popular "Virpnla Reel." There were not 
partners enough to go around, so some of the men 
danced together. Captain Titcomb, in his rubber 
boots, offered his arm with a flourish to Captain Eri 
and the "cuts" and "double shuffles" that the two 
shellbacks introduced into that reel were wonderful, 
although they very nearly broke up the dance. 

"We won't have supper till seven o'clock," an- 
nounced Captain Titcomb. "Come on, girls and 
boys I who wants to go over to the lighthouse?" 

They all did, or nearly all ; Gus was standing by 
the back window, looking at the sea, and she did not 

"Ain't Brad goin'?" asked Miss Prissy anxiously, 
turning as she was about to leave the shanty, with 
Captain Jerry as her escort. 

"Leave Brad alone a minute," called Captain Tit- 
comb, who was walking with Clara Hopkins. "He 
wants to git his bearin's, I guess. You women folks 
have pretty nigh talked his head off. He'll be along 
pretty soon." 

They went away and Bradley, for the first time, 
was alone with Gus. The old maids had given him no 
chance to do more than speak the barest word with 
her before, and now that he had the opportunity, he 
was almost afraid to begin. She must have known 
that he was there, but she did not turn her head. 

The silence was very awkward. Bradley broke it, 
after what seemed a long time. 

"Gus," he said. 

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She turned then, and, after glancing at his face, 
spdce hurriedly. 

"Oh I" she exclaimed; "they've gone and left us. 
Come ; let's catch them 1" 

But he stopped her before she reached the door. 

"Gus," he said, seizing her hand and heading it; 
"haven't you got anything to say to me?" 

She did not look at him. "What shall I say?" she 
asked. "What do you want me to say?" 

"Why, I thought you'd be glad that I've got the 
schooner off. I thought you'd say — the others 
said " 

"I am glad, very glad. And very proud. But I 
knew you would succeed. Hadn't we better go?" 

But he would not let her go. 

"I hoped you'd say more than that," he said, dis- 
appointedly. "I was dreadfully blue the other night 
when Sam was there. I thought that, after all, per- 
haps I was making a fool of myself in giving up the 
city and trying to win out down here. It looked so 
small beside the great jobs Sam talked about. But 
when you spoke to me on the steps and told me you 
believed in me, It all changed, and I swore to myself 
that I would win, because you wanted me to. Gus, 
do you really care? Are you really glad?" 

Then she turned to him and he saw that her eyes 
were wet. 

"What do you want me to say?" she whispered. 
"That I am more glad than I've ever been in my life 
before, and so proud of you, jo proud because you 
were brave enough to make your fight and win it in 



the face of the whole village ? And so ashamed of 
myself because I didn't encourage you as I ought 
when you first told me? I can say all that, Brad, and 
truly mean it." 

"But Gus — ohl it's no use! that isn't enough. I 
haven't got any money, and I've only begun in my 
work, and I may fail, after all; but Gus, will you wait 
for me? Do you care enough for me to wait and 
hope with me, and marry me some day when I really 
win? Do you?" 

He held her hand in both of his and waited, breath- 
less, for the answer. But she did not give it ; instead 
she looked at the window and through it at the sand 
dunes and waving beach grass and the blue sea be- 
yond. And Bradley, gazing at her face, saw the 
tears overflow her eyelids and roll down her cheeks. 

He turned white, and a great dread came over him. 
"Gus, don't you — can't you care for me?" he begged. 

And then she turned, and, leaning her head upon 
his shoulder, cried heartily and without restraint. 
"Why did you ask me? Why did you?" she sobbed. 

"Because I had to. Gus, don't you love me?" 

"Oh, Brad I I don't know. I think I do, but I'm 
not certain. I'm very, very proud of you, and I be- 
lieve in you, but, oh, dear I I'm afraid of myself. 
I'm afraidof my temper; afraid I may change; afraid 
I don't really love you as much as I ought to." 

"There isn't anyone else, is there?" . 

She smiled, tearfully. "No, Brad, there isn't any- 
one else." 

"Then won't you try to say yes? Perhaps you'll 

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learn to care for me. Won't you say yes, and try. 

"Do you want me to say it, now that you under 
stand just how I feel ?" 


"Do you want to take me just as I am — ^liking you 
better than anybody else in the world, but not — per- 
haps, not really loving you as it seems to me a girl 
ought to love the man who is going to marry her?" 


"I'm a queer girl, Brad. Grandma says I'm like 
her best china teacups — I must be handled carefully 
or there'll be a smash. I guess that's so. I don't 
trust myself; I change my mind five times a day. Do 
you want me to say yes, in spite of all this ?" 

"I do." 

"Then I will say it; and I will try to be what you 
would like to have me." 

He bent his head and kissed her, and just then 
came a thunderous knock on the door. 

"Brad," whispered Captain Titcomb, through the 
crack; "are you there ? I've come back after Tempy's 
spyglass. Git it for mc, will you? Maybe you'd 
better hurry,", he added, with a suppressed chuckle. 
"She'll be here in a minute, herself." 

The spyglass was handed out in a jiffy. 

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BRADLEY would have proclaimed his happi- 
ness through a speaking trumpet, but Gus 
begged that the engagement be kept secret for 
a while. "Please let me feel a little surer of myself 
first," she pleaded, and Bradley agreed, as he would 
have agreed to climb Bunker Hill Monument on the 
outside if she had asked him to. 

He "carried on so," as Miss Tempy expressed it, 
during the sail home that evening, that that lady was 
a trifle alarmed and asked her sister, as they were 
getting ready for bed, if she thought there could be 
anything in what Captain Titcomb had said about 
the jug. 

"Land sakes ! no 1" was the indignant answer, "If 
Bradley'd took to drinkin' I guess we'd have found it 
out afore this. Do you wonder the boy feels happy? 
I could have stood on my head, myself, when I saw 
that lumber vessel come off the shoal this afternoon.'' 




One more question Miss Tempy asked, after the 
light was put oat. 

"Prissy," she whispered; "Cap'n Titcomb seemed 
more like himself — with us, I mean — than I've seen 
him for three years. Almost like he used to be. Do 
you s'pose that means anything?" 

"I don't know. Go to sleep." 

The tug arrived the next forenoffli and the hull of 
the Ruth Ginn was towed up into Orham harbor. 
There she was anchored, where the getting out of 
the rest of her cargo would be a comparatively easy 

They worked with might and main and, at the end 
of a month, the job was done. The last joist was 
laid upon the wharf. Obed Nickerson expressed him- 
self as surprised and highly pleased. 

"You fellers have done mighty well," he said. "I 
felt kind of shaky when I let you have the contract, 
but I shan't feel so again. If you had a bigger vessel, 
with an engine in her, I b'lieve you could handle *most 
anything that's likely to run up on this coast" 

Their share of the cargo's value amounted to 
twenty-nine hundred dollars, and, all expenses de- 
ducted, the profit to the partners was over two thou- 

"Not so mean for two greenhorns in a floatin' soup 
ladle," crowed the Captain. "Brad, how's the Jere- 
miahs these days? Ain't anybody said 'I told you 
so,' yit, have they?" 

The underwriters' agent was their friend now and, 
inside of another fortnight, he had put a job in their 



way diat brought them in four hundred dollars more. 
She was a coasting schooner that had grounded off 
the Point) and her skipper had contemplated tele* 
graphing to the Salvage Company, but, thanks to 
Obed's recommendation, the chance was given — for a 
much lower price, of course — to the Lizzies owners. 
The vessel laid easy, with only her bows on the sand, 
and the anchors and cables got her dear in three 

Then they went anchor-dragging again, and met 
with considerable success. The skipper of the coaster 
that the partners bad worked oi! the shoal, as just 
described, said to a friend of his, who ctmimanded a 
four-master, "There are a couple of fellers down to 
Orham that are smart wreckers as ever I saw. They 
snaked me off the edge of the Razorback in next to 
no time, and didn't charge ha'f the vessel was worth, 
neither." And the captain of the four-master was 
by this reminded that he had lost a good anchor and 
thirty fathoms of chain on the Orham rips only three 
months before. He wrote to Captain Titcomb, giv- 
ing the "ranges" as near as he could remember them, 
and the partners agreed to undertake the job of re- 
covering the lost "mudhook." They found it, after 
a while, but, oddly enough, their drag line picked up 
four other anchors, of various sizes and values, before 
the right one was finally hauled on board. 

All this was profitable, as well as good advertising, 
and the Lizzie's owners were doing well. But they 
were ambitious and yearned for the day when they 
might undertake bigger things. Captain Titcomb was 

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for ordering a new and larger wrecking schoimer im- 

"What's the use of waitin', Brad?" he argued. 
"We've got enough on hand to pay part of what a 
decent schocner's worth. Let's go in debt for the 

But Bradley, more conservative, counselled waiting 
a little longer. "No use saddling ourselves with a big 
debt to start with," he said. " 'Dead horse' is the 
meanest animal to pay for that I know of." 

"You remind me of Uncle Elihu Bassett, that the 
old man— dad, I mean — used to tell about," said the 
Captain. "Uncle Elihu was a great feller for bein' 
economical. The only thing he spent much money for 
was rum, and his argument was that rum was a cuss 
anyhow, and the more old chaps like him bought the 
less there was to tempt the younger generation. Well, 
the said generation didn't stand much show 'longside 
of him, that's a fact. 

"Dad used to say he'd never forgit Uncle Elihu 
settin' in the tavern that was over at Hamiss in those 
days, and swearin' a blue streak because he hadn't 
been able to git down from his house to town-meetin' 
the week afore. 

" 'Consam it I* says Elihu; 'I was dyjn' to git to 
that meetin' to raise my voice ag'in' appropriatin' that 
money to fix the town's highways. Wust extrava- 
gance ever I see, that is I I'd a-been there,' says he, 
'only the mud in our road was so deep I couldn't drive 
through it.' " 

And, although the Captain agreed to wait a little 



longer before ordering the new vessel, he announced 
that he was going to keep his eyes open, and perhaps 
he'd strike a bargain some day or other. 

In August Miss Prissy threw the household into 
constematiwi by coming down with the grip. She 
had insisted on going to church in the rain because 
Mr. Langworthy's nephew from Providence was go- 
ing to preach that Sunday, and she came home with 
wet feet. A chill followed, Dr. Palmer was called in 
and the housekeeper and business manager, in spite 
of her protestations, was put to bed. And in bed she 
stayed for some time. 

Miss Tcmpy, without her sister was, as the Captain 
would have described it, "as uneasy as a fish out of 
water." She insisted on acting as nurse and house- 
keeper both. Bradley, prompted by the doctor, 
hinted at hiring a servant, but was incontinently 

"I guess not/" exclaimed Miss Tempy. "I don't 
want any hired girls traipsin' 'round this house ! I've 
heard enough from other folks who do have 'cm. 
Mrs. Thankful Brier was tcllin' me only a few Sun- 
days ago, at meetin', that her daughter Jane up to 
Melrose wrote her that she'd had three girls in less'n 
a fortni't, and the last one put the dog crackers, or 
biscuits, or whatever they be, on the supper table 
*cause she thought thev was cookies. The idea I No, 
I don't want any girls I" 

"Then you must let some of the housework go. 
It's too much for you ; you'll Be sick, yourself." 

"Let the housework go/ I guess not! Bradley 



Nickerson, we Aliens may be poorer than we used to 
be, but we're not shif'less." 

So, as if to prove this assertion, she relentlessly 
scrubbed the floor of the big dining-room next day 
and was very pale and tired when Bradley came in to 
supper. And then followed the first disagreement be- 
tween the young man and the sisters since that dread- 
ful first day at school. 

Bradley put his foot down and declared that a 
servant should be hired. Miss Tempy put hers down 
even harder and vowed she shouldn't. It ended by a 
scene in the sickroom. 

"Bradley," said Miss Prissy, weak but unconquer- 
able, " 'fore I'd let you spend your money to hire a 
girl in this house, I'll git right out of this bed and do 
the work myself. If it's the last act, I will I Tempy, 
you let things slide till I'm better. Now mindt" 

But letting things slide was not an Allen trait, as 
Bradley had been told. Very much troubled he went 
to Gus for advice. 

"Brad," said that young lady, after a few mo- 
mmt's thought; "I think I know just the one for you. 
I believe Clara Hopkins would come if I asked her." 

"Clara Hopkins 1 Why, Gus I she isn't a servant." ' 

"Of course she isn't I She wouldn't think of com- 
ing as a servant. But, you know, since her mother 
went away to Fall River to stay with Clara's brother 
— his wife has the typhoid fever — it has been terribly 
lonesome for the poor ^rt there at home. She told 
me, the other day, that she couldr^t stay alone much 
longer; she thought she should shut up the house and 



board somewhere. Now, I believe she would come 
and live with the old maids. Of course you mustn't 
hint at paying her wages, but she could help about the 
house, and she is jolly and good tempered and a splen- 
did nurse. I'll ask her, if you want me to.'* 

"She'd be just the right one. But, Gus, it won't 
woric Miss Prissy or Miss Tempy wouldn't have 
her come there to help, any more thdn they would a 
hired girl." 

"They don't need to know that she comes for that, 
at all. Oh, Brad I if you were cmly a little less 
straight up and down, and just a little more like — 
well, hke Cap'n Titcomb. Don't you see? You must 
make the old maids think that they're doing Clara a 
favor; not that she's doing them one. / could arrange 
it, I'm sure; but you're so dreadfully transparent." 

Bradley was aware of the transparency and it was 
with no great hope of success that he threw out the 
first hint concerning Miss Hopkins. To his surprise 
the hint was well received. The sisters liked Clara 
and she had told Miss Tempy, only the week before, 
how lonely she was. 

"Poor thing!" sighed the younger sister. "If 
Prissy was well, I'd have her come right up here and 
[make us a visit. I'd be glad to have her come and 
spend the day with us, anyhow." 

This was unexpected good luck. Qara, duly 
"coached" by Gus, came to spend the day. She made 
herself so thoroughly at home, was so pleasant in the 
sickroom, and helped in so many ways without seem* 
ing to try, that the old maids were delighted. 



"I declare, Clara I" said Miss Tempy; "I've jest 
enjoyed havln* you here. You shan't go back to dhat 
poky, shut-up house to-night. We've got a spare ■ 
room and you can stay here jest as well as not." 
When the sisters were alone, she said: "Prissy, I 
never enjoyed doin' a charitable ad: more'n I have 
maldn' that poor, lonesome girl happy to-day. It 
pays to act like a Christian, don't tt?" 

And after that, of course, It was easy. Clara stayed 
on from day to day. She became a part of the house- 
hold, and, gradually, lifted the burden from Miss 
Tcmpy's shoulders. It was pleasant to be able to sit 
by the bedside and read aloud from The Fireside - 
Comforter, knowing the while that the housework 
was being done and well done. And Clara liked 
"perrer tea," or said she did. Here, indeed, was a 
kindred spirit. 

One night — Peleg had prophesied it for a week 
before — a heavy northeast gale broke the monotony 
of summer weather. It very nearly brought disaster 
with it. The great six-masted coal barge Liberty, re- 
cently built, with her twin sister, the Freedom, by 
Cook and Son, the "coal kings" of Boston, came with- 
in a hair's breadth of running bodily upon the Bone- 
yard shoal. She was running into the Sound, under 
sail, with a tug following her, and the wind and tide 
caught her, as they had caught many another vessel. 
The skipper,' suddenly realizing his danger, ran to the 
windlass, loosened the dog and pin, and let the mam- 
moth anchor go over with a run. Then he leaped to 
the compressor, to clamp the chain ; but the tide was 



too much for him. The chain flew over the "wildcat" 
with a howl, and, before he could stop it, anchor and 
one hundred and twenty fathoms of chain were 
stretched out on the bottom. 

Lucky for the Lib&rty and her owners — she bad 
cost ninety thousand dollars to build, and carried over 
iive thousand tons of coal — the skipper of the stout, 
sea-going tug saw the danger, ran up astern of the 
helpless barge, and got a line aboard in time to check 
her headway and hold her nose off the shoal. 

"Well, Brad," said Captain Titcomb, when the 
flews reached Orham ; "land knows I ain't prayin' for 
other folks to lose money, but ivhat a job she'd have 
made for somebody — say for us, hey? There's from 
thirteen to twenty thousand in gittin' a whale like 
her afloat." 

"Yes," replied his partner, "but twenty tons of 
brand-new anchor and chain are worth eight hundred, 
at least, and half of that will go to whoever picks 'em 
up. We want that anchor-dragging job, sure." 

But it wasn't so easy to get, and so they found. 
Their success in the wrecking venture had bred would- 
be rivals. Before that day was over, Seth Wingate 
and two or three of his friends had offered, by wire, 
to locate and "buoy" the lost ironwork for the sum 
of three hundred dollars. Then the Salvage Com- 
pany was to send down a tug and bring it to the 
surface. It was a great disappointment to the part- 

It is one thing, however, to agree to perform and 
another to do. Seth had not had much experience la 

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anchor-dragging, and although his catboat and two 
or three dories scraped the bottom for three days, they 
failed to hook the object they were after. The skip- 
per of the Liberty came to Orham and put up at the 
Traveller's Rest. That night Captain Titcomb and 
Bradley called at his room. 

"Cap'n Gould," said Captain Ezra, "does it make 
any diff'rence to you who finds that anchor and chain 
of yours?" 

"Not a continental? All I want is to have some- 
body find it." 

"You folks haven't contracted with Wingate and 
his crowd then?" 

"No, they offered to find and buoy for so much, and 
we let 'em try; that's all." 

"All right. Now, you tell me, as nigh as you re- 
member, jest where the Liberty was when you hove 

So Captain Gould told them. The Setucklt light 
was about so and so; the Razorback lightship off here; 
and the rest of tt. 

"Here's where we lee-bow brother Seth, I cal'late," 
whispered Captain Titcomb as they left the room. 
"Pesky idiots I they never asked a question ; jest went 
bull-headed draggin' the edge of the Boncyard. If 
Gould's right that anchor's a ha'f mile to the no'th- 

And, sure enough, there it was. The drag line 
from the Lizzie's dories caught on one of the great 
flukes before the following forenoon was over. The 
way-line was sent down, the messenger followed, and, 



clamped securely, the prize was "buoyed" before din> 
ner time. 

"What you doin', Seth?'* hailed the Captain, in a 
prorokingly cheerful voice, as they passed the Win- 
gate catboat. "Seinin* porgies? We've jest buoyed 
a big mudhook ofi here. Might be the Liberty's; 
you can't tell." 

The Captain was for going to Boston at once and 
claiming the three hundred, but Bradley had been 

"Why shouldn't we do the rest of the job?" he 
asked. "That anchor, as it lies, is ours. We found 
it; we buoyed it. Why should we give it up to the 
Salvage people? We didn't make any deal with 

Captain Titcomb fairly whooped with delight. 
"Bully for you, Bradl" he crowed. "Sartin sure I 
why should we? We can't even take our Bible oath 
that it's Gould's iron we've found." 

They planned and argued until two o'clock. Then 
Bradley rushed up to the house, swallowed a hasty 
lunch, threw a nightshirt and toothbrush into 
his grip and caught the three o'clock train for 
Boston. He did not even stop to tell Gus of his 
departure, and trouble came of that omission 
later on. 

At nine o'clock next day he leaned across the ma- 
hogany rail in tlie office of Cook and Son and asked 
an important young gentleman, with a pen behind 
his ear, if Mr. Cook, Senior, was in. 

"No," replied the important young man, looking 

,z,;i:, Google 


condescendingly at his sunburned questioner; "but I 

Bradley ventured to hint that he was aware of his 
informant's distinguished presence, but that he wished 
to see Mr. Cook, Senior. 

"What did you want to see him for?" queried the 
human pen-rack. Bradley did not care to make his 
business known, so the young man went back to his 
desk. In an hour he again leaned across the rail to 
inform the visitor that the manager was in. 

"I want to see Mr. Cook," replied Bradley. 

He waited. The forenoon passed. People came 
in by dozens, were admitted to inner offices and went 
away again. Beyond again askbg what Bradley's 
business might be, and receiving no satisfactory an- 
swer, the gentleman at the desk did not trouble him- 
self further. At exactly twelve he stepped into an- 
other room, returned with his hair artistically curled 
on his forehead, covered it with a straw hat surround- 
ed by a beautiful white and blue band, and went out 
— presumably to lunch. 

Bradley was hungry, but persistency was cme of his 
virtues, and he sat still. An hour later, a atout man 
with side whiskers and a protruding chin came out of 
one of the inner offices. 

"Are you Mr. Cook?" asked Bradley. 

The stout man looked him over and admitted, 
shortly, that he was. 

"My name is Nickerson. I'm from Orham. I 
came to see you about that anchor and chain that the 
Liberty lost; I think, perhaps, I've found it." 

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"You do, hey? Have you buoyed it?" 

"Yes, sir." 

"AH right. The Salvage Company will send a tug, 
and, if it's our anchor, and you did find it, we'll for- 
ward you a check for three hundred dollars. Any- 
thing more ? I'm going to lunch." 

"Yes, sir. The anchor and chain, as they lie on the 
bottom, are ours. My partner and I are wreckers, 
and we think we ought to have the job of raising 

"You do, hey? Well, the Salvage people do my 
wrecking jobs, and they'll do this one. Good-day." 

"Mr. Cook, if a tug is sent to Orham to take up 
your anchor, and if they touch our anchor — the one 
we've buoyed — ^we shall sue you for damages." 

The coal king lodccd at him in complete astonish- 

"Weill I like your nerve I" he exclaimed. "Didn't 
you say it was my anchor you'd found?" 

"I said I thought it might be yours. But we've 
found it, whatever it is, and it's ours until you prove 
property. Then, when you do prove it, we'll be ready 
to arrange for salvage charges." 

"How do I know you can raise anything, even a 
rowboat's anchor?" 

"All we ask is the chance to prove it." 

"What'll you charge?" 

"Five hundred dollars." 

"I'll sec you further. The Salvage people wtm*t 
charge more than that." 

"They couldn't do it any better than we can." 

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"Well, sir, you can have three hundred if you've 
got it buoyed, just as I said. That's all you'll get, 
and a tug will be there day after to-morrow. Take it 
or leave it. Now you can go to Orham, or the 
devil, just as you like. You can't bluff me, young 

The great Mr. Cook went to lunch then, and Brad- 
ley, too, left the office. The young gentleman with 
the striped hat band, who had returned in time to 
hear the latter part of the interview, grinned pity- 

That evening, when the train came in, the Captain 
was on the Orham station platform to meet his part- 
ner. He listened with interest to the story that the 
latter had to tell. 

"Say I" he exclaimed. "You stood up in your boots 
like a little man, Brad. But ain't you afraid we're 
kind of bittin' off our nose to spite our face? Cook 
and Son's a big concern, and Titcomb and Nickerson 
ain't quite in the king row yit, you know." 

The fact is the Captain's old respect for owners 
had not entirely disappeared. He stood a trifie in 
awe of men whose payroll contained the names of 
twenty skippers. 

"No, sir I" replied Bradley, with determinatitMi. 
"We're right, and he'll have to come to our terms or 
let his anchor stay where it is till doomsday." 

He felt rather well satisfied with himself, on the 
whole, and more like his own master than ever before. 
He continued to feel that way until, after supper, he 
called upon Gus, and then the cool manner in which 



that young lady received him reduced his self-esteem 

"Why, what's the matter?" he asked, in despair, 
after being snubbed and answered in monosyllables 
for ten minutes. "Aren't you interested in what I 

"Ohl I don't know. Why should I be? You're 
not particularly interested in me; that's plain." 

"Not interested in you? Why, my dear girl! 

"Bradley Nickerson, why didn't you tell me you 
were going to Boston ? Anyone would think that was 
the least you could do." 

"Why — why, Gus I ' I didn't have but a minute I 
I should have missed the train 1" 

"Suppose you had, there's another in the morning." 

"Yes, but then the business would " 

"The business I I'm sick of the business I You 
dwi't think or speak of anything but the business. 
Why don't you think of me, or what I'm interested 
in, occasionally?" 

She had heretofore listened to his plans and 
schemes so patiently, and had helped him with so 
many su^estions, that this sudden change upset him 

"Why, Gus !" he faltered. "I'm awfully sorry. I 
thought you'd understand." 

"Yes, you thought I'd understand; and so you went 
away without a word and left me to find out from 
Miss Tempy that you'd gone. How did you know 
that it would please me to have you go? How did 



you know that I didn't wish, to spend the evening 
somewhere ? You didn't know, and you were so sel- 
fish that you didn't care. You neglect me more and 
more all the time." 

It was unreasonable, of course, but there was just 
enough truth in it to cause Bradley's conscience to 
prick him sorely. He had become more and more in- 
terested in his work, and his talk had been principally 
confined to that subject, but he certainly had not 
meant to be neglectful. He did what the man must 
do in such cases; he apologized, confessed that it was 
all his fault, and humbly begged forgiveness, with all 
sorts of promises for the future. 

After it was all over and they had made up, Gus 

"Brad, I am interested in your success and in your 
plans, but you mustn't let them fill all your mind. I 
told you that day at the Point that I wasn't sure of 
myself and that, as grandma says, I must be handled 
with care. I'm trying hard to please you, dear. 
Don't forget to try your hardest to please me, even 
in little things." 

Later she said, casually, "I had a letter from Sam 
to-day. They've made him superintendent of a crew 
J that are at work on a big steamer." 

Now it wasn't pleasant to learn that his fiancee re- 
ceived letters from another man, especially Sam Ham- 
mond, but Bradley was wise enough to feel that this 
was not the time to raise objectiwis. 

"Oh 1 1 shan't answer it, of course," said Gus, as If 
the had read his thought — as no doubt she had — "but 



he docs have such good times in New York: theatres, 
and concens and everything. Orham is such a deadly 
dull place for everybody but the summer people. I 
do so want to go somewhere or do something for 

Altogether, that evening was not the most assuring 
or satisfying one of Bradley's life. 

And in a few days, as the senior member of the 
6nn of Cook and Son had predicted, the tug came to 
raise the barge's anchor. She belonged to the Salvage 
Company and her skipper had been directed by his 
owners to stop on the way to New York and do this 
little job. She found the Lizzie lying to close by the 

"Is that the Liberty's anchor you've got buoyed 
there?" shouted the captain of the towboat. 

"Don't know," answered Captain Titcomb, cheer- 
fully. "It's one we picked up draggin'. Might be 
the Liberty's, p'raps." 

"Well, I've got orders to get it up." 

"Guess not. That's our buoy and our anchor, fur's 
anybody but the fish knows. We'll fetch it up when 
we're ready. Don't need any help." 

"Oh, look here I What's the use of talkin'? 
That's the Liberty's iron, all right. Let me get at it; 
you'll get your price for buoyin' it." 

"You touch that buoy or those lines and you'll git 
into trouble. Keep your hands off our property un- 
less you want to pay for your fun." 

The skipper of the tug knew he had no means of 

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proving that the buoyed anchor was the one he was 
sent for. He fumed and argued the whole forenoon; 
the partners were cheerful but firm. At last the angry 
towboatman went up to Orham to telephone for in- 
structions. He came back swearing mad. 

"What did they say?" asked Captain Titcomb, 

"Told me to take it up if I was sure 'twas the Lib- 
erty's. How in thunder do I know whose 'tis ?" 

All night long the Lizzie stayed by the buoy, and 
the tug rocked close beside her. In the morning the 
sidpper of the latter vessel hailed again. 

"How long are you goin' to keep this up?" he 

"Oh I 'twouldn't be polite to go away and leave 
you, you bein' out of town comp'ny," was the un- 
moved answer. "We're takin' watch and watch 
'board here. How do you work it ?" 

"Aw, go to thunder I" was the disgusted reply. 

For a few hours longer the towboat and wrecking 
schooner lay side by side, while their crews exchanged 

"Hi I" shouted Barney Small, pointing to the jet 
of steam from the tug's escape pipe; "your teakittle's 
leakin'. Want to borrer our sodderin' iron?" 

The mate of the little steamer made answer by re- 
questing Barney to lend him his face "to fight a dog 

At noon the tug's skipper made another trip to the 
telephone, this time using that at the life-saving sta- 
.tion. He stated the situation to his owners without 

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frills. The work at New York could not longer be 
kept waiting, and he was told to start for that port. 

"Ain't goin' to leave us, are you?" hailed Captain 
. Titcomb, as the tug began to move. 

"Oh I don't you fellers git the big head too bad," 
was the answer. "I've got somethin' better to do 
than roost down here. But there'll be other callers; 
don't forgit that. You little two-for-a-cent beach- 
combers can't beat the Boston Salvage Company so 

"Chuck us a tintype of yourself to remember you 
by," yelled Bill Taylor, 

"Tell your sister not to worry about me," shouted 
- Alvin Hearse. "I'll write pretty soon." 

And Peleg, prompted by Mr. Small, brought out 
his concertina and played "Good-bye, Sweetheart, 
Good-bye," with agonizing pathos. 

Captain Ezra sent a final hail after the snorting 

"You tell Mr. Cook," he shouted, "that the longer 
he lets that chain lay where 'tis the worse it'll sand. 
In a month it'll be covered in so you can't git up 
more'n ha'f of It. Tell him to wire us when he gits 
ready to pay our price. And sayl" he added; "don't 
forgit to tell him to prepay the message." 

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AFTER that both sides stood pat for a time. 
Cook and Son, although they sent no 
more tugs, did not wire, as the Captain 
had suggested, and the anchor and chain lay un- 
touched on the bottom, with the Lizzie's buoy floating 
above, and the tide-driven sand sifting steadily over 
the great iron links. 

The partners went dragging for other anchors. 
At the end of a week, Captain Titcomb hinted that it 
might be a good idea to telephone the Liberty's 
owners and ask if they were ready to trade. But 
Bradley was firm. 

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"No," he said ; "we can stick it out as Icmg as they 

The Captain grinned admiringly. "Brad," he 
said; "you've got more nerve than I have; I swan if 
you ain't I When I think of us two buckin' up against 
a cwiccm that owns twenty-two vessels, I give in it 
gives me tfie paisy in my knees. But go it, son I I'll 
stand behind you till all's blue." 

The next move in the game came from an unex- 
pected quarter. The Captain and Bradley had just 
landed one evening, after a day on the shoals, when 
Obed Nickerson came strolling down the wharf to 
meet them. 

"Hello I" he said. "Haven't seen you fellers for 
some time. Goin' to walk up to the village? Don't 
know but I'll go with you ; I need a little exercise." 

This seemed a trifle odd, for sleek, easy-going 
Obed wasn't fond of walking; as a usual thing be 
preferred to drive one of his fast horses. As Captain 
Titcomb said, later: "You didn't need to smell bait 
to know somebody was goin' fishin'." 

They walked on, talking town politics and gossip. 
No one mentioned business until the underwriters' 
agent said, casually : "Well, haw's things goin'? Got 
up that barge anchor yit?" 

"Not yet," replied Bradley. 

"Humph I 'Twill be pretty badly sanded if you 
let it lay much longer, won't it? Why don't you fel- 
lers write to the Salvage Company? I understand 
the job was given to them, I don't imagine either 
you or they want any lawyers mixed up in it. I 



ihouldn't be s'prised if they'd be wUlin' to meet you 
ha'f way in a dicker." 

Captain Tltcomb kept his eyes fixed on the ground. 
"What makes you think so?" he asked. 

"Oh! nothin' special. But I'd write 'em if I was 

"Hum I You couldn't do it for us, could you, 

"Why, I don't know. Maybe I could. I know 
'em pretty well. Now s'pose— only s'pose, of course 
— that I could fix this thing up; what's the low- 
est terms that you'd raise that anchor and chain 

Then the Captain looked up and laughed, like one 
who has solved a riddle, "That's Brad's job," he 
said. "Ask him, Obed." 

"Well," said Bradley, with his hands in his 
pockets. "We'll raise that anchor and what we can 
get of the chain for five hundred dollars. That's our 

"Oh I now what's the use? They won't pay that, 
and " 

"Look here I" broke in Captain Titcomb, "I've had 
some dealin's, afloat and ashore, with this young 
feller," laying his hand on his partner's shoulder, 
"and I've found that, when his mind's made up, he's 
a kind of combination of mule and the Rock of Ages. 
'Twon't do, Obed. You write to the Salvage Com- 
pany or Cook and Son, or whoever set you on this 
tack, and tell 'em that Titcomb and Nickerson are 
little, but oh my! Tell 'em that that chain's sandin' 



and settlin' every day, but that, if we have to wait till 
the other end sticks out in China and makes a clothes- 
line for the heathen in his blindness, there she stays 
til! they come to time. No hard feelin's to you, Obed, 
and sorry you had your walk for nothin'." 

The underwriters' agent was momentarily embar- 
rassed; then he laughed. 

"AH right," he said. "You mustn't git the idea 
that there's anything in this for me. I only " 

"I know. You only done it to oblige, like the 
feller that fetched the rat poison to hts mother-in- 
law when she said he made her sick of life. We 
understand. Good-bye." 

The partners were considerably encouraged by this 
interview. They argued that Cook and Son were get- 
ting nervous. 

That evening Bradley and the old maids were in 
the sitting-room. Miss Prissy was much better and 
had, for the first time, donned a wrapper and come 
downstairs to sit in the big rocker. Miss Tempy was 
reading aloud to her, and Clara was in the kitchen 
washing the supper dishes. 

" 'The Earl bent his proud head,' " read Miss 
Tempy, " 'and gazed into the clear blue orbs that me*; 
his own. "Claire," he murmured, in a deep, rich tone 
that vibrated through the heavy air of the gloomy 
cavern; "Claire, my beautiful! my ownl poor and 
humble your station on earth may have been, but 
henceforth, if we escape from the lurid flames of 
yonder volcano and the cruel blades of the merciless 
buccaneers, you shall no longer be the peasant miid, 



but my bride, my wife, mistress of Castle Craggy- 
knoll; the peerless " ' " 

"What's that?" she exclaimed, breaking off sud- 

"What's what?" asked her sister, drowsily. 

"Seems to me I heard somebody in the kitchen." 

"Clara is there, isn't she?" queried Bradley. 

"Yes, but — I thought — yes, there's somebody else. 
I do b'licve it's a man I You don't s'pose she's got a 
beau? I'm goin' to see." 

And, before the others could remonstrate, she put 
the Comforter on the table and started for the kit- 
chen. They heard her cross the dining-room and 
open the door. Then came an exclamation. 

"Whyl why I" she cried; and then, "Well, I do 
declare I" 

"What do you s'pose 'tis ?" asked Miss Prissy, now 
thoroughly awake. The kitchen door had swung to, 
but there was a great clatter of voices behind it. Miss 
Tempy was raxlaiming and arguing; Clara, apparent- 
ly, was saying very little, and a third person, in a 
deep bass rumble, was explaining something or other. 

"Land of goodness I" cried Miss Prissy, "I hope 
it ain't the minister, and me in this old wrapper." 

The kitchen door was opened, Miss Tempy ap- 
peared beaming, and there followed her into the sit- 
ting-room no less a personage than Captain Ezra 
Titcomb. The Captain's face was the least bid red- 
der than usual, but he was otherwise as suave and 
unmoved as if the time of his previous call had been 
but yesterday instead of four years before. 



"Well, Prissy I" he said, shaking hands with the 
invalid, "how are you to-night? 'Most ready to come 
on deck and take command? No, dtm't git up. 
Evenin', Brad." 

Poor Miss Prissy I She patted her tumbled hair 
into the most presentable shape possible, hurriedly 
pulled the red and white knitted "Afghan" over the 
wrapper, and managed to gasp that she was glad to 
see the Captain. Then she sat still and stared re- 
proachfully at Miss Tempy. 

But that lady was too excited to notice her sister's 
agitation. She fluttered about the visitor like a hen 
with one chicken, trying to hang up his hat, dropping 
it, blushing violently as she collided with him in the 
attempt to pick it up, and generally behaving, -as Miss 
Prissy said afterwards, like a a bom gump. 

"Set right down, Cap'n," she pleaded. "We're 
reel glad to see you. What made you come to the 
kitchen door ? I couldn't think who 'twas ; could you. 
Prissy? Oh, my sakesl" 

In her nervous haste she had pushed forward the 
big armchair that had once been the throne of Captain 
Darius, but which, owing to the inJirmities of age, 
had for some time been kept in the comer for show 
purposes only. It had a weak leg, and, when Captain 
Titcomb planted himself upon the worn black oil- 
cloth cushion, the infirm member prcwnptly bent 
inward and the Captain slid gracefully to the 

"Tempy!" exclaimed Miss Prissy, in a freeiing 
tone. Bradley laughed and ran to assist the fallen 



one. Miss Tempy, now in a perfectly helpless state, 
wrung her hands and stuttered. 

"The idea of givin' him father's chair!" cried Miss 
Prissy. "Tempy, have you gone loony? I hope you 
ain't hurt, Cap'n Ezra? Wc never use that chair 
now. It used to belong to father." 

Miss Tempy was heard to remark, feebly, that it 
looked "so like him." She declared afterwards that 
she didn't say it. 

The Captain made light of the accident and se- 
lected another seat, carefully testing it beforehand. 
He at once began to talk about the weather and Miss 
Prissy's illness. But the older sister interrupted him 
as soon as the opportunity offered. 

"What made you come to the back door?" she 

There wasn't an instant's hesitancy in the Captain's 

"Oh I" he said, lightly, "it's rainin' a little and I 
thought I wouldn't muss up them floors of yours. I 
know them floors of old," he added, and laughed 
heartily. He continued to talk about the floors and 
seemed to think his fear of soiling them a great joke. 
Miss Tempy, who was a trifle more rational by this 
time, laughed with him, but Miss Prissy seemed still 

"You used to come to the dinin'-room door, even 
when it snowed," she said. 

"Yes, but I had on my sea-boots this time and 
they're so big I tote ha'f the road along with me. Re- 
minds me," he added, hastily, just in time to cut off 



another question, "of what the old man — my dad, 1 
mean — said about a colored cook he had aboard his 
dhip once. Dad said that darky's feet was the largest 
live things without lungs that he ever saw out of 

Bradley thought he had never seen his partner so 
willing, even anxious, to monopolize the entire con- 
versation as he was that evening. He cracked jokes 
and spun yarns without stopping to rest. Clara came 
in, after a little, and seated herself quietly on the sofa. 
She, too, seemed a trifle nervous, but the sisters did 
not notice it. They were hypnotized by their caller's 
lively tongue, and laughed like girls. Miss Prissy 
grew more like herself every minute. 

"Don't go, Cap'n," she pleaded, as the visitor 
pulled out his watch and rose from the chair. "I de- 
clare ! you're better'n the doctorl" 

"Much obliged. Prissy, but 'twas too much of a 
good thing that busted the cider jug. Two opposition 
doctors in one house would be like the two Irishmen 
■fightin' for the pig — 'twas an 'Ilegant row' while it 
lasted, but it killed the pig. No, I must be gittin' on. 
I left my umbrella out in the kitchen. Clara, bring 
the lamp, will you, please?" 

Clara rose and started for the kitchen, but Miss 
Tempy Intercepted her. 

"/'// git your umbrella, Cap'n," she said. 

"No, no! you set still. Clara knows jest where 'tis; 
she put it away." 

"Well, I guess I can find it. You needn't come, 
Ciara. Yes, here 'tis. Good night, Cap'n Titcomb. 



I — I hope, now you've found the way, you'll call 
again some evenin'. Bradley'll be glad to see you 
and so will Prissy and — and I. You've done her a 
world of good. Good night." 

The Captain walked briskly down to the gate. 
Then, as the door closed behind him, he paused, 
wiped his forehead with his coatsleeve, and drew a 
long breath. 

There was jubilation in the old maids' room that 

Obed Nickerson must have been prompt in com- 
municating to the Salvage Company, or Cook and 
Son, the news of the failure of his attempted negotia- 
tions with the partners, for on Tuesday of the follow- 
ing week this telegram came : 

"Bradley Nickerson, Orham, Mass. 
"Come my ofSce immediately. 

Alpheus Cook." 

"Humph!" grunted Captain Titcomb; "short and 
crisp, like the old woman's pie-crust, ain't it? Well, 
Brad, I guess you'd better go." 

Bradley agreed with him and, once more, he hur- 
ried home to pack his grip. But this time he took 
care to tell Gus. She rejoiced with him over the 
triumph they both felt sure was coming. 

"You're succeeding. Brad," she said. "Everybody 
is talking about it. I'm prouder of you than ever." 

"But when will you be willing to have me tell 



people that we're engaged? Mayn't I do that nowf 

She paused, and his hopes rose ; but then she shoc^ 
her head. "It wouldn't be fair to you," she said. 
"Somedmes I feel that I almost — ^well, like you 
enough to be content to stay in Orham all my life and 
work for you and with you. I'm trying hard to feel 
that way. But at other times it seems as if I muit 
get away to where the people talk of something be- 
side their neighbors' affairs; where there are great 
things being done and where the world moves. You 
think I'm inconsistent, don't you ?" 

"No, it is dull down here, and most of the folks 
are rather narrow, I'm afraid. Gus, you know what 
my business means to me. Well, if it will please you, 
and if you'll come with me, I'll give it all up, even 
now, and go back to the city and try it there." 

She smiled tenderly. "You're a dear, good boy," 
she said ; "but do you suppose I should ever be happy 
again if I let you do that?" 

The railway journey to Boston had only one inci- 
dent worth notice. At Buzzards Bay the Boston 
train meets that bound down the Cape. There was 
some delay at the station and Bradley stepped out on 
the platform. He was walking up and down smoking 
when somebody shouted, "Hello, Brad Nickersonl 
what are you doing here?" 

Brad turned and saw Sam Hammond. 

"Weill" he exclaimed, shaking hands with his old 
scat-mate. "Where are you bound — Orham?" 

"Yup. How is the old graveyard, anyway?" 

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*'Pretty quiet just now. Most of the summer folkjS 
have gone home. You on another vacation?" 

Sam laughed. "Kind of vacation a fellow hands 
out to himself," he answered. "The Wrecking Com- 
pany and I had a row; they tried to put ^n men's 
work on me and I wouldn't stand for it. So I told 
'em to go to the devil. It put 'em in a hole, all right, 
but nobody's going to walk on my neck, if I know it. 
I'm gomg home to- loaf for a while — I need a rest 
anyway. Then I'll go back to New York and hook 
on with another crowd. There's plenty of 'em want 
me, but they can wait. How's all the girls? Gus 
Baker pretty well ?" 

They talked for a few minutes longer. Sam asked 
how the anchor-dragging trust was getting on. Then 
the two trains started. Bradley leaned back in his 
seat in the smoker and meditated. Stnnehow a con- 
versation with Sam always made him "blue." He 
wished the fellow was not going to Orham. 

Next morning, bright and early, he walked into the 
"coal king's" office. The important young man with 
the pen behind his ear disdained to recognize him. 

"Who'd you wish to see?" he asked, after a dig- 
nified interval. 

"Mr. Cook — the older one," answered Bradley. 

"He's busy now. Likely to be busy all the morn- 
ing. What do you want to see him for? Won't I 

"Don't know, I'm sure," replied the wrecker, 
gravely. "I'll speak to Mr. Cook about it. You see^ 
he was the one that sent for me, so " 



"He sent for you I Oh 1 excuse me. I wish you'd 
saiJ so sooner. Sit down, please. What name, sir?" 

"Nickerson — sir." 

The young man, much less important, hurried into 
another room, and returned at once. 

"Mr. Cook'Il see you, sir," he said, opening the 
gate. "Step right into his private office, Mr. Nicker- 
son. Say," he added, in a whisper, "maybe you'd 
better not mention that I wanted you to talk to me." 

The great Mr. Cook was seated behind his big 
carved desk. The whole outfit looked rather formid- 
able. He stared at Bradley over his glasses. 

"Sit down," he commanded. "Got my wire, I sup- 

"Yes, sir." 

"Humph 1 Yes. Well, have you fellows got tired 
of keeping me from recovering my property yet?" 

"What property?" 

"Oh, be hanged I You know what property I mean. 
Arc you ready to let the Salvage Company take up 
that anchor you've got buoyed?" 

"No, sir." 
'. "When will you be?" 

"Never," was the smiting answer. 

"Humph I" Mr. Cook wheeled round in his chair. 
*'I suppose you realize, young man," he said, im- 
pressively, "that this concern of ours could send down 
tugs and men enough to snake that anchor and chain 
right out of your hands. You understand that, do 

"Yes, sir, I understand it.** 



"Then what's to prevent our doing it?" 

"I don't believe you want a lawsuit." 

"Lawsuit I Why, Nickerson, look here I I've got 
lawsuits on my hands now that make anything yea 
could bring up look like thirty cents. And my law- 
yers could fight you through court after court till you 
were milked dry. What chance wchiM you have 
against our money?" 

"Not much, sir. But, Mr. Cook, Is It worth the 
trouble and what it'll cost you ?'* 

The "coal king's" manner changed. He leaned 
back in his chair and actually grinned. 

"For a 'longshoreman," he observed, "you're not 
so slow. No, it isn't worth the trouble, to say noth- 
ing of the money and those confounded nuisances, 
lawyers. There's been more valuable time and breath 
wasted on this fool thing now than the eight or nine 
hundred dollars it cost comes to. Why don't you see 
the Salvage Company and make a trade with them? 
They're about sick of it, too." 

"I'd rather trade direct with you." 

Mr. Cook patted his desk with his pencil. Then 
he glanced at the clock. 

"Oh, pshaw!" he exclaimed, testily. "Well, 
what's your lowest price delivered on the Orham 
wharf? Lowest, mindl no trimmings 1" 

"Five hundred dollars." 

"All right, you may take it up. I'll give you four 
hundred cash for the job. Go ahead, and work 
quick. Good-day, Nickerson; glad to have met 



He swung around to the desk and picked up some 
papers. But Bradley did not go. 

"Excuse me, Mr. Cook," he said. "Our figure 
yiis five hundred, not four." 

"Humph I Well, five's robbery. Four's what I'll 

"All right, sir. Sorry wc can't trade. Good morn- 

"Hold on there!" shouted the owner of the Lib- 
erty. "Do you mean you won't raise the anchor?" 

"Not for less than five hundred." 

"Split the difference; make it four-fifty?" 

"No, sir." 

"Oh, well, hang It I go ahead. Five hundred, then 
»=-*nly don't bother me any more." 

But Bradley still hesitated. "There is just one 
thing more, Mr. Cook," he said. "That chain has 
sanded in every day since it has been on that bottom. 
We may not be able to get up the whole of it. We 
warned your tugboat skipper when he was down. 
We'll do our best, though." 

"Oh I you'll get it. I'd be willing to bet that you'd 
get up the everlasting foundations if you made up 
your mind to. Say, Nickerson!" Mr, Cook put his 
hands in his pockets and looked quizzically at Brad- 
ley; "I guess I owe you an apology. I said, when you 
were here before, that you couldn't bluff me. Well, 
it looks as if you could. ' Any more at the Cape like 

Bradley laughed. "Shouldn't wonder," he said. 

"Don't want a job, do you?" 

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"No, sir; not at present, thank you. That is, noth- 
ing but wrecking jobs. Anything in that line yoa 
can throw in our way we should appreciate." 

"I'll remember it. If you get sick of anchor-drag- 
ging any time, come and see me. Have a cigar to 
smoke as you go along. Good-day." 

The young man with the pen, now very polite, 
bowed Bradley out of the gate. The junior partner 
was happy. He felt that not only had the wisdom of 
his course in the matter of the Liberty's anchor been 
proven, but that when Cook and Son should have 
future wrecking contracts to give out, Titcomb and 
NIckerson might be considered as bidders to be reck- 
oned with. 

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ii^m^ HERE !" exclaimed Captain Titcomb, ten 

I days later, when the last section of the 

^L Liberty's chain had been laid on Orham 

wharf; "there I Ma/ child's bom and his 

name's Adoniram I Now, then, Brad, what next — 

more anchor-draggin' ?" 

Getting up that chain with a hand windlass was a 
tough proposition, but they had done it finally. The 
calm weather helped them here, for though the heavy 
links had sanded somewhat, they managed to work 
the last one loose after a struggle. Again the part- 
ners had longed for the much talked-of schooner with 
an engine, but this time it was Bradley who did most 
of the complaining. The Captain merely looked wise 
and winked knowingly. "Keep your head to wind- 
'ard, son," he remarked. "Maybe I'll have a s'prise 



party for you some of these days." Bradley didn't 
know what he meant and the Captain wouldn't ex- 
^ plain. 

In reply to the question concerning what was to 
be done next, the junior partner, who was sitting on 
an overturned salt-mackerel tub aboard the Lizzie, 
asked a question in his turn. 

"Cap'n Ez," he said, "do you remember that 
schooner loaded with tar that foundered on the flats 
oR Caleb's Point last March ? The one we located 
when we were dragging for Anderson's anchor that 

Captain Titcomb nodded. "Yup," he said. "She 
b'longcd to a Boston firm, seems to me. Let's see — 
what was their names ?" 

"Colton, Lee and Company. They are on Com- 
mercial Street. Well, I went in to see 'em when I was 
up to Boston." 

"You did?" 

"Yes. That tar has stuck in my mind ever since 
you told me about it. It was in barrels, you see, and 
it's harder than Pharaoh's heart naturally, so the salt 
water hasn't had time to hurt tt any to speak of. 
Obcd told me that the schooner was insured and the 
cargo wasn't. So I thought I'd go in and see the 
owners. Well, they'd pretty nearly forgotten about 
the tar — I suppose it had been charged to prolit and 
loss long ago. We talked and I told 'em that I 
might, perhaps, be able to save a few barrels — only 
a few, of course. The upshot of it all was that I 
bought the whole cargo, eight hundred and forty bar- 



rels, just as it lies on the botton, for twenty-live doL 
lars cash." 

"You didn't?" 

"I did. It was twenty-iive dollars more than they 
ever expected to get, at that. Now, Cap'n, our agree- 
ment was that no new move should be entered into 
without the ccmsent of both partners. This deal was 
so 'all in the air,' as you might say, that I didn't say 
anything about it until I'd seen the owners. Now, if 
you feel that we can't raise enough of the stuff to pay 
for the trouble, I'll let the twenty-five come out of 
my pocket and call it a fine for being too smart." 

"You shan't do no such thing I We can git out 
enough of that tar to make that up twice over, even 
with the back-number rig we've got. But if we had 
a divin' kit and a diver, I'd be willin' to bet we could 
save two or three hundred barrels, maybe more." 

"That's what I thought. So I spent nearly three 
hours cruising up and down Atlantic Avenue and rum- 
maging in ship stores and such places. And, Cap'n 
Ezra, I know where we can buy a complete fit-out 
second-hand — pumps, pipes, diver's suit and the 
whole business, in Ai shape, so far as I can see — for 
three hundred and fifty dollars. Just for a flyer I 
paid ten dollars and got an option on it for a week." 

"Nof you didn'tf Brad Nickerson, here's where 
the old man takes his hat off. You've got me beat, 
hull down. I'll be askin' you for a mate's job yit. 
Three hundred and fifty 1 Dirt, d<^ cheap !" 

"I'm glad you feel that way, Cap'n. Of course a 
diver'U be expensive. The Salvage Company wiU 



charge us anywhere from fifteen to twenty dollars 
a day for a good one. And there's where Vm afraid 
the whole speculatitm falls down. We don't know 
how that tar lies, whether the hull's broken up, 
whether the barrels are sanded over or not. It might 
take so long to get it out that we'd lose money." 

The Captain, with both hands jammed into his 
pockets — his beckets, he called them — ^was pacing up 
and down. 

"Lay to, son," he observed, shortly, "and let your 
hair grow. You've landed nine-tenths of this deal 
already; let me handle t'other tenth. I have a sneak- 
in' notion that Z can git that diver cheap enough to 
make it worth while. No, I shan't say anything more 
jest now. You wait." 

But the next morning he greeted his partner with 

"I've got your diver, boy!" he cried. "That is, 
I've got him if you say the word. Five dollars a day, 
too, instead of fifteen." 

"Where in the world " 

"Right here in Orham. And he's had plenty of ex- 
perience. What's the matter with Sam Hammond?" 

"Sam Hammond! Sam — Why, Cap'n Ez, what 
are you talking about? Sam told mc himself that 
he'd come home to rest. He's going back to New 
York in a little while. He wouldn't work for us!" 

"Wouldn't, hey ? Brad, 'twas the feller with one 
leg that was too religious to dance. Sam's out of a 
job. Maybe he fired the boss ; maybe the boss fired 
him. All I know is that he told me last night he'd 



dive for ua at five dollars per. 'Course he'd only do it 
to help us out, but thafs all right; I don't care if 
there's a hole in the bag so long's the cookies arc in- 

Bradley was silent. He didn't like the idea of 
having Sam as a shipmate. There were other reasons 
as well, and these the wily Captain may have guessed, 
for he said: 

"Now, Brad, of course it's for you to say. We 
couldn't git another good man so cheap, but never 
mind that. Sam is a great feller for the girls, and 
they seem to like him pretty well. I s'pose he'd be 
cuttin' out some beau or other, and then we'd have 
trouble on our hands. Not that that would hurt you 
any, except in a way, but — ■ — " 

Bradley interrupted him sharply. The hint roused 
his pride. "Oh I I don't care," he said. "Hire him, 
if you want to. Only, I'm surprised that he's willing 
to come." 

And so that is how Mr. Samuel Hammond, late of 
the Metropolitan Wrecking Company pi New York, 
came to enter the employ of Titcomb and Nickerson, 
to whom he had contemptuously referred as "anchor- 
draggers." But if Bradley supposed for a mcMnent 
that Sam would change his patronizing attitude be- 
cause of the move, he was much mistaken, Mr, 
Hammond laughed when he boarded the Lizzie, 
asked facetiously if "this was the vessel or only the 
long boat?" and poked fun at the whole outfit gen- 
erally. He gave each member of the crew to under- 
stand that he was only doing this for a while, to help 

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out Brad. He said that puttering around this way 
was such a change for him that it was the best fun of 
his vacation. 

He took pains to make his position plain in the 
minds of the townspeople. Captain Jabez Bailey told 
Bradley, in a confidential whisper : "It's mighty good 
of Sam to turn to and help you and Ez out of a hole. 
I hope you appreciate it." Bradley said he appre- 
dated It fully. 

Even Gus was Inclined to view the matter in that 
light. Sam saw to it that she did. He called at the 
Baker homestead pretty often, and when Bradley was 
there treated the latter in a jolly, good-fellow sort of 
way that couldn't well be resented, but which had al- 
ways in it that aggravating flavor of pitying patron- 

Bradley felt that he was placed in an awkward and 
humiliating position. He told Gus so plainly. 

"Gus," he said, "the last time we talked on this 
matter you spoke of 'treating me fairly.' Do you 
think it's fair to allow Sam to call here as he does ?" 

A more experienced ladies' man — Captain Tit- 
comb, for instance — ^would not have selected this par- 
ticular evening to bring up this particular subject. 
Gus was in one of her uncertain moods. She had re- 
fused to be serious before, and she was not serious 

"Why, Bradley Nickersonl" she exclaimed, with 
a laugh, "I do believe you're jealous!" 

"No, I'm not jealous, exaaly. But why do you let 
him come here?" 

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"You are jealous I Oh, dear me ! I didn't believe 
you had that sort of a disposition. Why do I let him 
come here? What shall I do? Lock the door and 
scream 'I've gone out!' the way old Cap'n Pepper 
did when the tax collector called?" 

"Oh, be serious, please I'* 

"All right I Let's be very serious. Sam calls here, 
I suppose, because he and I have always been friends 
and we're friends now. I don't invite him, but I can't 
very well tell him to stay away. He doesn't know 
that you and I are engaged— or partially engaged — 
and " 

"That's just it! If you will only let me tell people 
of our engagement then he can't call any more. May 
I, Gus?" 

"Brad, don't you trust me?" 

"Of course I trust you." 

"Then why are you suspicious or what arc you 
afraid of?" 

This very direct question was embarrassing. Brad- 
ley felt certain that he had good reason to be sus- 
picious of Hammond's intentions, but be knew he 
had no actual proof that would warrant his saying 
so. He stammered, and could reply only that he 
didn't like the fellow's calling so often. 

"I don't see," said Gus, "why you dislike Sam so. 
He never mentions your name without praising you. 
He thinks you are doing wonderfully well." 

Bradley knew just the tone in which that "wcmder- 
fully well" had been uttered by the ex-New Yorker. 
It made him nngry. 

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"Yes," he remarked, with sarcasm, "I suppose his 
lordship thinks we're doing very fairly for Cape Cod 
countrymen. Well, he's working for those same 
countrymen himself, now, so he ought to know." 

"I think that's a very unkind remark, especially 
when Sam is helping you, as he is, just out of friend- 
ship. I tell you this, Brad : Sam isn't always talking 
about himself and saying sarcastic things about other 

Bradley went home injured and resentful. He 
made up his mind that Gus shouldn't have another 
chance to call him "jealous.'* He could show her that 
there were others who didn't care. 

He plunged into business deeper than ever. The 
diving outfit came from Boston and worked well. 
They visited the sunken tar schooner and Sam made 
his first dive ; Captain Titcomb, who understood the 
apparatus, worked the pump. Sam reported that the 
tar seemed to be in good condition, and that, for the 
present, they could get up a number of the barrels 
through the hatchway. Later they might have to 
. blow away a part of the hull. 

So every fair day they worked over the wreck. 
Sam, in the diver's suit, clambered down into the sub- 
merged vessel's hold and attached the barrels to the 
tackle. Then, by the aid of the windlass, they were 
hauled up and swung aboard the Lizzie. By the 
first of October they had already gotten out over two 
hundred barrels, and Sam said that he saw no reason 
why all of the eight hundred might not be secured in 
the course of time. The tar speculation was already 



a very profitable one, and the credit belonged to Brad- 

There was to be T7hat the posters called "A Grand 
Select Subscription Ball" at the Orham Town Hall 
on the evening of October tenth. The local corre- 
spondent of the Item announced that the beauty and 
fashion of the surrounding section were expected to 
be present, that the Silver String Orchestra, all the 
way frcrni Bridgewater, was to furnish music, and 
that, altogether, the afFair would no doubt be "the 
most elite time that our village has seen since the 
Masonic Temple was dedicated." 

Gus had expressed a desire to go to the ball and 
Bradley had subscribed; that is to say, he had paid 
two dollars for a ticket admitting "gent and two 

He dressed for the affair, when the evening came, 
with no very pleasant anticipations. The relaticHis 
between Gus and himself had not improved since the 
disagreement over Sam's visits. It was as much his 
own fault as anyone's; instead of waiting for a fa- 
vorable time and again pleading his case, he brooded 
over what he considered his ill-treatment and behaved 
almost boyishly sulky. Gus resented this behavior 
and showed that she resented it. It was all very fool- 
ish, of course, but also very natural. And, meanwhile, 
Mr. Hammond, backed by some experience with the 
ladies, played his own cards with discrimination. 

The partners were expecting a check from New 
Bedford in payment of the first shioment of tar. and. 



as it was early when Bradley finished dressing, he 
detennincd to go down to the post-office before call- 
ing for Gus. Captain Titcomb was out of town. He 
had not told where he was going, merely observing 
that he wanted a couple of days off for private busi- 
ness. What the private business was he did not state. 

The old maids were on hand, as usual, to inspect 
their boy when he appeared in the sitting-room. Miss 
Prissy brushed his coat and handed him a clean hand- 
kerchief, while Miss Tempy sprinkled his lapel with 
perfumery from her own bottle. The sisters were in 
high spirits these days. Miss Prissy was almost well 
again, and Captain Titcomb was calling with en- 
couraging regularity. Clara, whose mother seemed 
likely to spend the winter at Fall River, was still with 
them. As Miss Tempy said, they didn't see how 
they had ever got along without her. On this par- 
ticular evening Miss Hopkins, dressed in her best, 
had gone out. She had explained that she might go 
to the ball, "just to keep Bennie company." "Bennic" 
was a twelve-year-old cousin of hers who lived down- 
town and was attending dancing-school. 

The expected check did not arrive on that mail, 
and, as Bradley came down the post-office steps, some 
one laid a heavy hand on his shoulder. He turned 
with a start. 

"Why, hello, Cap'n Ezl" he exclaimed, "you back 

The Captain nodded. He was dressed in his Sun- 
day clothes and carried a hand-bag. His light over- 
coat was thrown open, his derby hat was a little on 



one side, and the stump of a cigar was gripped b^ 
tween his teeth. 

"What's up?" asked the junior partner. 

"Everything's up," was the brisk answer. "You 
come with me." 

"But I can't stop now ; I'm in a hurry." 

"Never mind your hurry. I want you. Stopped 
at the house on the way from the train, but Tempy 
said you'd gone to the office. CcHne on — come !" 

He hooked his arm into that of his companion and 
' led the way through the crowd of loungers on the 
sidewalk. Bradley still protested. 

"But, Cap'n Ez, wait till some other time. I 
must " 

"Shut up I I'm so full of steam I'll bile over in a 
minute. This ain't foolin', it's bus'ness." 

He dragged his puzzled partner along the side- 
walk and across the road to the Traveller's Rest. 
Bradley hung hack and asked questions, but the Cap- 
tain would ndther pause nor answer. He opened the 
door of the hotel and literally pushed his friend in- 
side. Then he led the way upstairs and into his own 

"Set down I" he commanded, kicking a chair up to 
the table and turning to lock the door behind him. 

"No, Cap'n, I can't sit down; I ought to be going 
this minute." 

Captain Titcomb hesitated. Then he unlocked the 
door and flung it open. 

"All right I" he said, "go ahead. I've been count- 
in* on springin' the news on you for the last six hours, 



but I s'pose I can wait another ten. Don't let me 
interfere with your plans." 

Any other tone than this and Bradley might have 
continued to resist. As it was he sat down, though 
with reluctance. 

"Well ?" he said, somewhat impatiently. 

"Weill" replied the Captain, still with the ag- 
grieved expression on his face. "Now, Brad, you 
know mighty well I've got somethin* important to say 
— somethin' mighty important, or I wouldn't have 
snaked you up by the coat-collar this way. I haven't 
even stopped to cat a mouthful, myself, I was so crazy 
to git at you. But never mind that; if you ain't in- 
terested enough to *' 

"You know I'm interested, Cap'n Ez. Only do 

The Captain locked the door again. Then he todc 
a bundle of papers from his overcoat pocket, and, 
selecting a card from among them, said, impressively, 
"Brad, what have you and me been prayin' for for 
the last three months or more?" 

The junior partner shook his head. The Captain's 
suppressed excitement was beginning to have its effect 
on him. 

"I dwi't know," he replied. "Do you mean a big 

"I mean somethin' that'll give us the tools to do a 
good many big jobs with. I mean a new, up-to-date 
wreckin' vessel." He leaned across the table. "Brad, 
my scm," he said, slowly, "I've got that very craft.'* 

"You've got her?" 

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"IVe got her, or the same as got her. Look at 

that I" 

He tossed the card on the table and Bradley picked 
it up. It was the photograph of a good-sized, two- 
masted schooner — a wrecking schooner, and of mod- 
em build ; so much was plain. 

"Look at her I" cried the Captain. "Ain't she 9 
dream? And that tintype don't begin to do her jus- 
tice. Now, Brad, that schooner's the Diving Belle, 
built in New Bedford two years ago and cost eight 
thousand to build. No sham about her; built for 
wreckin' ; good seasoned timber, tackles, patent wind- 
lass, nice, light, roomy cabin, anchors, sails, all com- 
plete — and a first-class sixteen horse-power gasoline 
engine. And, son," Captain Titcomb raised his fist, 
"you and me can buy the whole blessed outfit for five 
—thousand — dollars — cash 1" 

The fist fell on the table with a bang. BradleJ 
gasped in delighted wonder. 

"You don't mean it I" he cried. 

"You bet I mean it 1 And Fve got a six-day option 
on her, and I had to talk t6 git it, too. You see," he ' 
added, gleefully, "you ain't cornered the cq)tion mar- 
ket altogether." 

"But where is she? Whose was she? How did" 
you hear of her? Five thousand I Why, that's 
a " 

"Easy! Easy I 'One at a time, please, so 111 
know which to dodge,* as the play actor said when 
he got the bouquet one side of his head and the cab- 
bage t'other. Now, I'll tell you all about it." 



And he kept his word. When Captain Tltcomb 
really enthused over a subject he was a wonderful 
talker. Now, shaking a forefinger in his companion's 
face, he talked so fast that Bradley forgot everything 
except to listen. The schooner had been butlt for one 
Abijah Foster, of Vineyard Haven. She had been 
engaged in the wrecking business for two seasons 
along the south Jersey coast and then her owner died. 
His widow was the only heir and she needed money. 
The vessel had been bought by a Nantucket man, but 
when it came to paying the price there had been a 
hitch that resulted in the collapse of the deal. Cap- 
tain Titcomb had heard of this hitch some weeks be- 
fore and that was what his previous hints had meant. 
He wrote to the widow's lawyer, received a letter in 
reply, and hurried to the Haven. 

Bradley was now as wildly jubilant as his partner. 
He asked innumerable questions, but the Captain had 
an answer ready for each one. He had with him a 
rough plan of the schooner's rig, a photograph of her 
cabin, a drawing of her engine. These were laid on 
the table and they moved from one to the other, the 
Captain explaining, pointing and arguing. The pass- 
ing of time was forgotten entirely. 

"There I" cried Captain Tltcomb, at length, taking 
a drink from the water pitcher to moisten his throat, 
dry from continuous talking; "there 1 that's what my 
private bus'ness out of town was I D'you wonder I 
had to unload to-night or bust a biler?" 

The junior partner awoke from his trance with a 
start. And just then, from the sitting-room below, 



came a muffled, whirring sound, followed by a suc- 
cession of faint "Hoo-hooa" nine of them alto- 
gether. The cuckoo clock, legacy of old Captain Syl- 
vester Harding, who had willed it to the Traveller's 
Rest — possibly as a partial recompense for unpaid 
board — ^was doing its duty. 

Bradley turned white and then red. Nine o'clock I 
and the grand march at the Subscription Ball was to 
start "promptly at eight I" And Gus had looked for- 
ward to this evening for over a month I 

It is doubtful if, even now, he could tell much about 
his trip from the Captain's room to the Baker cottage. 
He ran most of the way. Over and over again he re- 
proached himself for his forgetfulness. Gus had 
called him neglectful and selfish once before; what 
would she say now? He scarcely dared knock en 
the dining-room door. 

But whatever he may have expected to hear when 
that door opened, what he did hear was certainly a 
distinct surprise. It was some moments before the 
knock was answered. Then the door opened a very 
little way and Grandmother Baker, her head envel- 
oped in a shawl, peeped out. 

"Who is it ?" she asked, doubtfully. Nine o'clock 
is a late hour for callers in Orham. 

"It's me — Brad. Where's Gus?" 

"Oh I I declare, Bradley, you scjtrt me, comin' so 
late. Gus has gone." 

"Gone I" 

"Yes. She said if you called to say that she didn't 
wish to interfere with anything so important as your 

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business matters. You see, Sam Hammond stopped 
here about ha'f-past eight and said he'd seen you and 
Cap'n Ezry go into the Traveller's Rest together. So 
Gus went to the ball with him." 

The Subscription Ball was nearly half over when 
Bradley came up the stairs of the Town Hall. He 
tossed his ticket in at the window and absent-mindedly 
checked his overcoat and hat. Then he stood in the ■ 
doorway looking at the dancers. For almost an hour 
he had been walking up and down the sidewalk oppo- 
lite the Hall, remorsefully hating himself one minute, 
and fiercely nursing his injured pride the next. Twice 
ht turned to go home, and each time he turned back 

The "waltz quadrille" was the particular dance 
then going on. Bradley glanced over the crowded 
floor. He caught sight of Sam Hammond dancing 
with one of the Rogers girls. Opposite them in the 
set, he noted vaguely, were Captain Titcomb and 
Clara Hopkins. Further off "Snuppy" Black and 
Georgiana Bailey were whirling with the "society" 
step— Georgiana always proclaimed that the "glide" 
was "dreadful old-fashioned." Captain Jabez was 
turning stout Mrs. Scth Wingate; the "glide" was 
good enough and to spare for Captain Jabcz. 

At last Bradley saw Gus. She was away down at 
the other end of the hall and her partner was Hart- 
well Sean. He was glad that she was not with Sam, 
but he resented the look of enjoyment on her face. 
He did not know that she had seen him looking for 



her, and that the expression was assumed for his 

But when Hartwell, at the end of the quadrille, es- 
corted her to the settee by the wall, Bradley, white 
but firm, walked straight toward her. She saw him 
coming and smiled coolly. 

"Hello I" she said, "so you decided to come, after 

"Gus," whispered Bradley, bending toward her, 
"I'm 80 sorry. Please forgive me." 

But Gus didn't intend to forgive so socm. She had 
been deeply wounded by what she considered his neg- 
lect, and she meant to punish him. 

"Oh!" she observed, carelessly, "I realize that I 
must not expect you to think of my pleasure when 
Cap'n Titcomb wants to interview you. Oh, yes, 
Sam! this is our schottische, isn't it? I'm so glad!" 
The next instant she was sorry she said this, but then 
it was too late. 

There was just a suspidon of triumph in the glance 
that Hammond gave him as the music began for the 
schottische, and Bradley watched them go with tight- 
shut lips. Then he tossed his head and stepping 
briskly down to where the younger Miss Rogers sat, 
entered into a lively conversation. 

Miss Rogers had arrived late and her card was, in 
consequence, not full. Bradley promptly pencilled 
his initials in every vacant space. The fact that he 
thereby contracted for a galop, a "York," and a schot- 
tische, none of which he had the slightest idea how to 
dance, didn't trouble him at tKe time. As for the 



flattered Miss Rogers, she simpered and giggled and 
looked up into his face until Melissa Busteed — ^who 
had been given a gallery ticket and had come in order 
to denounce the whole sinful affair at the next Come- 
Outers' meeting — declared 'twas a mercy she didn't 
kiss him right in front of the whole crowd. 

They went to supper together and — there was fate 
in it, beyond doubt — sat directly opposite Sam and 
Gus. Bradley ate cold ham and ice-cream without 
knowing which was which, being certain only that 
bMh were flavored with gall and wormwood. He 
laughed as loudly as the rest when unlucky Captain 
Jabez spilled a plate of vanilla-and-lemon-mixed into 
his wife's lap, but five minutes later he couldn't have 
sworn that it had happened. 

He spoke with Captain Titcomb but once. That 
was during an interval between dances, when the Cap- 
tain, red-hot but smiling, came strolling towards him. 

"Hello, Brad I" he exclaimed. "Got here, didn't 
you?" Then, glancing at the young man's face, he 
added: "Havin* a good time? Hope our stoppin* 
to talk didn't make any diff'rence?" 

The answer was non-committal. Just then "Ben- 
nie," Miss Hopkins' nephew, came up. He was ar- 
rayed in his first black suit with "long pants," and 
the glory thereof sat grandly upon him. The Cap- 
tain noticed it. 

"My!" exclaimed the latter, "you are tony to- 
night, Bennie. How you do grow ! You'll be a man 
'fore your mother yit. Docs she know you're out ?" 

He hurried away in response to the pronpter's call 



of "Take your partnera," leaving the indignant Ben- 
nie to obiervct "Humph I think's he's smart, don't 
he I He ain't any dancer. Don't know one of the 
new steps us fellers learn at dancin'-school. Gee I" 
with a chuckle, "Clara was awful mad at him. He'd 
engaged the grand march and a lot more with her and 
never got here till ha'f-past nine. If he hadn't ex- 
plained how you'd got hold of him at the post-office 
and kept him talkin' 'wreckin' ' for over an hour, I 
don't b'lieve they'd have made up yet. 'Twouldn't 
have made any difference to her, though; / was here, 
and I can dance better'n any two Cap'n Ez Tit- 

Bradley had never before felt so much like kicking 
his business partner. The smooth way in which the 
Captain cleared his own skirts, by shifting the blame 
to his innocent victim, was characteristically diplo- 
matic, but mighty provoking. And he "hoped" it 
wouldn't make any difference I 

The Subscription Ball, extras and all, came to an 
end at three o'clock. By this time Bradley was once 
more repentant and humble. When Gus came out 
of the cloak-room he went to meet her, resolved to 
abase himself and plead again for forgiveness. 

"Gus," he stammered, "Gus — I — I — mayn't I 
walk hcMne with you ? You know I " 

But, as Bradley's anger had cooled, his fiancee's 
had risen. No detail of the flirtation with the Rogers 
girl had escaped her. 

"Thank you," she answered, and every word was 
crusted with ice; "Mr. Hammond was gentleman 

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enough to escort me here and I presume he will see 
me home." 

Bradley accompanied Miss Rogers to the parental 
gate. It wasn't a hilarious walk. "Die young lady 
said to her older sister later on ; 

"Julia, I honestly believe he didn't speak one word 
from the time he left the hall till he said good-night. 
I had to talk for two, or I should have gone to sleep 
on the way. He may be good-looking enough, but 
Gus Baker can have him for all me. Pd as soon come 
home with a wooden Indian." 

And Bradley, in his own chamber, stared out of 
the window at the light in Gus' room and vowed that 
he would not get down on his knees to that young lady 
again ; let her have her New York gentleman if she 
wanted him. Then he thought of that other dance 
and how happy he had been because she had given 
him the waltz that Sam asked for. And he went to 
bed utterly miserable. 

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THE next morning he was more miserable 
still, having had time to think it over. But 
he resolved that no one should guess his 
feelings from his appearance. Therefore, he was, at 
the breakfast-table, outwardly calm, although a little 
more quiet than usual. 

The "old maids" were loaded with questions about 
the ball, and began firing them at him and at Clara 
as soon as the grace was said. They wanted to know 
who was there, what they had for supper, and espe- 
cially all about the ladies' gowns. 

"Did Elviry Bailey wear that new black net of 
herst" asked Miss Prissy. "She's talked about noth- 
in' else, so they tell me, for the last month. How'd 
she look in it, Bradley? Was It becomin'?" 



Now Mrs. Bailey might have been robed in purple 
and gold for all that Bradley knew to the contrary, 
but he promptly replied that the black net looked very 
well, he thought. 

"I s'pose Georgiana had on her blue silk and wax 
beads, didn't she?" MissTempy queried. 

"Yes, I believe so." 

Clara laughed. "Why, no, she didn't, Bradley I" 
she exclaimed; "Georgiana wore her green cash- 

"There I" burst out Miss Tempy, "if that ain't 
jest like a man! We used to ask father about 
what the women folks over in London, or Bom- 
bay, or Surinam wore and he couldn't tell any 
more'n a cat, and he'd seen 'em time and time again. 
Well, we'll have to find out about the dresses from 
you, Clara. Tell us who danced with who, Brad- 

"Yes," said the older sister. "But we won't ask 
who you danced with; I shouldn't be surprised if we 
could guess that." 

Miss Prissy accompanied this sagacious remaric 
with a sly chuckle. Miss Tempy joined in the chuckle 
- and nodded wisely. Clara smiled, but she looked at 
Bradley with an odd expression. As for the young 
man, he, too, tried to smile, but it was a poor at- 

"Was Cap'n Ezra there?'* asked Miss Tempy, 
after a moment's silence. 

"Yes, he was there." 

"She I I want to know I I s'pose," with elaborate 



unconcern, "he danced with the married folks, 
mostly ?" 

Bradley didn't answer. He was stirring his coffee 
in an absent way, and his face was very solemn. So 
Miss Tempy turned to Clara. 

"No use talkin' to him this momin'," she ob- 
served; "he's dreamin', I guess. Who did you dance 
with, Clara?" 

"Oh, with Bennie and some of the others," the 
young lady replied, promptly. "Bennie's getting 
along splendidly at dancing-school; he waltzes very 
nicely now," 

Bradley had little appetite. He drank his coffee, 
and then, with an excuse that he was in a hurry, left 
the table and, putting on his cap, went out. 

He was, to all appearances, in high spirits when 
he reached the wharf. He dreaded meeting Captain 
Titcomb and Hammond, but he made up his mind 
they shouldn't know it. So he chatted with Barney 
and Peleg, laughed loudly at the flimsiest jokes, and 
whistled as he stood at the Lizzie's wheel and steered 
her out of the harbor. But if he was afraid of being 
questioned by the Captain or sneered at by Sam, he 
need not have been. Mr. Hammond, possessing wis- 
dom of a sort, didn't refer to the previous evening. 
The Captain, too, seemed to have forgotten it. He 
groaned once or twice over his work at the air-pump, 
and, when Bradley asked him if the pump needed 
oiling, replied briefly : 

" 'Taint the pump that needs ile. It's my j'ints. No 
use talkin' I I'm gettin' too much of an antique to trip 



what Sarah Emma Gage calls the 'light and frantic 
toe' nineteen times in one night. That last Portland 
Fancy with Matildy Wingate pretty nigh sent me to 
the scrap heap. Every time we swung partners she'd 
slat me clear of the deck and whirl me 'round till I 
swan to man if I didn't think my feet would frazzle 
out like a masthead pennant in a gale of wind I She 
must have thought she was shakin' carpets. I felt 
like tellin' her we wan't playin' 'snap the whip.' " 

They worked at getting out the tar until three 
o'clock, when, at Captain Titcomb's suggestion, they 
quit for the day and the Lizzie came back to her 
moorings. Then the crew went ashore and the part- 
ners shut themselves in the cabin to once more discuss 
the project of buying the Diving Belle. The photo- 
graphs and sketches were exhibited, the Captaltj 
argued and enthused, and Bradley did his best to 
forget Gus and to be interested. He succeeded par- 

The junior partner agreed that the Vineyard 
Haven schooner was a wonderful bargain, but he dis- 
liked the idea of going in debt for a part of her, as it 
seemed that they must do. 

"You see, Cap'n Ez," he said, "we've got alto- 
gether less than four thousand dollars between us if 
we, put up every cent we've made. We shall have to 
borrow at least another thousand, and I hate to. In 
a year, if things go as well as they have, we ought to 
be able to build a new vessel and pay for every stick 
of her. And yet," he added, "it seems a shame to 
let this chance go by." 



The Captain glanced at his companion and 
drummed with his fingers on the table. When he 
spoke there was a hesitancy tn his manner. 

"We can't let it go by," he said, "we'd never git 

another like it. Now, Brad — now, Brad ;" he 

stopped and drummed again. Then he went on with- 
out looking up. "I don't know's I mentioned this 
afore, but all my money ain't been put into this 
wreckin' deal yit. You see, I own some shares in that 
big cranb'ry bog of the OstaWe folks. Must be about 
fifteen hundred dollars' wuth altogether. I cal'late, 
maybe, I ain't spoke of this to you afore, have I?" 

"Well, no I you haven't," answered the astonished 
Bradley, drily. 

"No. I presume likely it — er — must have slipped 
my mind. Well, I'll sell the bog shares and p^it up 
what's needed to finish buyin' the Divtn' Belle. You 
can pay off your part as we earn Jt. Is it a go ?" 

The junior partner paused before replying. This 
matter of the cranberry swamp money was a most 
surprising revelation. The Captain's previous silence 
concerning it was exactly in keeping with his old char- 
acter, the character of the skipper of the Thomas 
Doane, and a phase that had been erowini? less and 
lless evident of late. However, Bradley did not feel 
justified in refusing to accept the offer. It didn't seem 
fair to his partner. 

"All right," he said, finally; "I'll agree, of course. 
If you're willing to risk it, I ought to be." 

"Good ! We'll take a day off to-morrcr and go up 
to the Haven and look her over." 



The rest of that afterooon Bradley spent in his 
toom, thinking. The more he thought of his own 
share in the happenings at the dance, the more 
ashamed he was of them. He had acted like a boy; 
but then Gus had not behaved well, either. He 
mused till supper-ttme and only succeeded In making 
himself still more uncomfortable. 

It was dark when he came out of the gate that 
evening. There was a fog that was almost a driz- 
zling rain, and the big silver-leaf dripped and the 
fence rails were covered with beady drops. From 
the outer beach the sound of the surf came faintly, 
like a never-ending groan. A lonely, miserable night; 
one that fitted his feelings exactly. 

He had intended going to the post-ofBcc after the 
expected check, but a little way past the gap In the 
Baker fence he stopped and looked back. The light 
in the dining-room attracted him in spite of him- 
self. Gus, no doubt, was there; reading, perhaps; 
perhaps thinking of him. He wondered if she would 
be ready to forget and forgive if he came to her and 
asked pardon once more. He stood there, struggling 
with his pride. 

And just then he heard some one walking toward 
him from the direction of the village. He had no 
wish to meet acquaintances and so drew back under 
the Saunders' lilac bushes. A man, with his coat 
collar turned up, went by rapidly. It was too dark 
to see well, but Bradley was surprised to hear the foot- 
steps go up the path to the door of that very dining- 
room the window of which he had been watching. 



The visitor knocked. An interval; then the door 
opened and Gus stood there, a silhouette against the 

"Why, good evening, Saml" Bradley heard her 
say. "Is this you? Come in; I'm glad to see you." 

A minute later and Bradley was on his way to the 
post-oj£ce. He had been a fool long enough. This, 
he determined, should end it. 

The partners started for Vineyard Haven in tht 
early morning. The Captain talked most of the way, 
for which Bradley was thankful; he didn't feel like 
talking. They found the Diving Belle lying at the 
wharf, and Captain Titcomb watched his companion's 
face as they stood on the stringpiece looking down at 
her. ' 

"Well, son," he observed after a short silence, 
"what do you think of her? The tintype don't flatter 
her none, does it?" 

Bradley's answer was enthusiastic enough to satisfy 
even Captain Titcomb. "By jiminyl" exclaimed the 
junior partner; "she's a daisyl If her inside is as 
good as her outside, she's the best five thousand dol- 
lars' worth I ever saw." 

And, when the examination was concluded, he said, 
"Let's hunt up that lawyer without wasting another 
minute. I'm only afraid that he'll forget your option 
and sell her before we get there." 

They found the lawyer and signed the papers. It 
remained only to bring over the check and take away 
the schooner. And this they did a week later. Mean- 

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■while Captain Titcomb had performed another mira- 
cle. He had hunted up a man who had expressed a 
desire to purchase the Lizzie, and, after two days of 
bargaining, during which time the Captain had twice 
pretended to give it up and return to Orham, had sold 
him the old schooner for seven hundred and fifty dol- 
lars. Also he sold his shares in the cranberry b<^. 

There was a good-sized crowd of townspeople on 
the Orham wharf when the Diving Belle slid smooth- 
ly past the harbor mouth and up to her moorings. 
There was a splendid breeze, but they wouldn't have 
used the sails for any consideration. The sight of the 
moving pistons In that wonderful sixteen horse-power 
engine, the enchanting smell of the gasoline, the muf- 
fled drumming of the propeller under the stem — these 
were bran-new, unadulterated joys of proprietorship 
that no mere Item like the saving of unnecessary ex- 
pense could induce them to forfeit. 

The "old maids" and Clara were among the crowd 
on the wharf. They were shown over the new vessel 
and their admiration was outspoken. 

"It's beautiful I" exclaimed Miss Prissy, referring 
to the engine. "I declare, Bradley, I shall come 
aboard every night and sec that you keep that trass- 
work shined up the way it ought to be. I'll let you 
take some of my silver polish, like I use for the best 
teapot, and a piece of chamois. I never saw a man 
yet that I'd trust to clean a kitchen knife, let alone a 
lovely thing like that. Now don't use sand-soap and 
a rag and get it all scratched up." 

"And to think," cried Miss Tempy, "that Cap'n 



Titcomb owns ha'f of her and our Bradley the other 
ha'fl Why, it's jest like havin* her in the fam'ly. 
I'm so proud I don't know's I shall speak to common 
folks after this." 

The others laughed at this outburst, but Bradley 
was silent. He was thinking that it was only a few 
weeks before that Gus had said that she was so proud 
of him. 

The Diving Belle was a spoiled child for the next 
fortnight. Her owners and her crew — all but Sam 
Hammond, and even he was condescending enough to 
call her a "nice little thing of her size" — handled her 
as if she was made of cut glass. Peleg brought Skee- 
zicks aboard on purpose to display her beauties to 
that educated pup, who seemed to appreciate them, 
especially the galley stove. Bill Taylor was cooking 
at the time, and the stove was red-hot, so Skeezicks 
promptly crawled beneath it, but even there he shiv- 

Captain Ezra put in the most of his spare time "im- 
proving" the new purchase. Bradley told him it seem- 
ed like the Thomas Doane days to smell paint and 
trip over a bucket of water and a swab every little 

"Yes," was the Captain's reply, "but then I was 
fixin' up somebody else's property; now I'm fussin' 
with my own. It's as difF'rent as boardin' and keepin' 
house. I remember seein' Solon Snow fryin' flapjacks 
one time when him and his brother 'Rastus was fishin' 
at the P'int and 'twas Solon's week to cook. Solon 
would toss the flapjacks up with the frytn* pan to turn 



*eni over. Sometimes he caught 'em when they come 
down, sometimes he didn't. Them that fell on the 
floor he put in 'Rastus's plate. That's the diff'rence 
between workin' for yourself and for somebody else, 
Brad. What d'you think of puttin' a gilt stripe 
'round the top of the deck house ?" 

The gilt stripe was added to the house, as were also 
sundry other decorations to various parts of the 
schooner. But the lock on the cabin door was the 
particular addition upon which the Captain prided 

Orham was just then in the throes of a burglar 
scare. Two houses in the village had been broken 
into and the natives were talking of calling an indig- 
nation meeting for the purpose of expressing their 
opinion of the Selectmen. Then a steam yacht, be- 
longing to a summer resident, which lay, housed over 
for winter in the harbor, was boarded and ransacked. 

It was oivfhe day following this robbery that Cap- 
Cain Titcomb began tinkering with the cabin door. 
This door and the sliding hatch above it had been 
fastened with a padlock. The Captain's first move 
was to block the hatch so that It would slide back but 
a little way. Then he sawed and hammered away at 
the door. 

"There!" he cried, in triumph, after two hours of 
hard work. "Brad, come here I S'pose one of them 
mean sneak thieves tries to bust into that cabin. He 
can pry the staple off that padlock easy, can't he? 
Yes, but the way that hatch is now 'twon't open fur 
enough for him to climb down ; he's got to open that 

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door. And that door's got on it a three dollar patent 
lock that can't be opened without the key, and no ten 
cent, whistle-down-the-barrel key neither. The key 
that'll open that has lace edgin' on it ; you hear mel 
And I've todc off the knob on the inside of the lock, 
80 it can't be worked that way. Now when we want 
to go home we haul to the hatch and lock it with the 
padlock. Then we jest slam the door. Click 1 There 
you are I A spring lock; how's that for high? Thun- 
deration! I've left the key Inside I" 

Luckily the key was lying on the top step of the 
cabin stairs, and they were able to reach it with a Bsh- 
hook on the end of a stick. But that was only the 
beginning of the trouble with that wonderful burglar- 
proof spring lock. The key was always getting lost, 
or being left at home in the Captain's "other pants." 
As he would trust it to no one else, the difficulities 
that arose were numberless. Once Alvin Bearse re- 
mained a prisoner in the cabin for half a day, having 
to wait until the Diving Belle reached the wharf and 
the key could be sent for. 

Getting up the tar, with the aid of the patent wind- 
lass and the engine, was simply fun. They took out 
all they could bring up through the hatchway, and 
then began blowing out the side of the hull with dyna- 
mite. The explosive was stored In the Diving Bellas 
hold, forward, behind a bulkhead with only one small 
manhole in it, and was carefully boxed in to prevent 

Bradley's whole Interest in life now centred in his 
work. Gus he had not spoken with since the night of 



the dance; had, m fact, only seen her at a distance. 
Sam, while on board the schooner, was pleasant and, 
to all appearances, as friendly as Bradley would let 
him be, but from Captain Jabez, and from other con- 
siderate and gossip-loving souls, the junior partner 
learned that Hammond was now a regular caller at 
the Baker cottage. Tactful Captain Tltcomb never 
mentioned Gus, and the "old maids," though they 
must have been aware that their boy no longer visited 
the house next door, knew better than to question him. 
At times Bradley was tempted to give it all up and 
go away. He could not forget, try as hard as he 
might. But consideration for his partner, and his 
own pride, kept him at home. She should never know 
how much he cared, and Sam and the rest should not 
have the satisfaction of crowing over his running 

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THE captain's GAMBLE. 

OCTOBER had been a month of exceptimially 
pleasant weather, but, in the night of No- 
vember first, Bradley woke to feel the old 
house trembling and to hear the rain thundering on 
the roof overhead and rattling against the windows. 
The wind screamed in the chimney, and In the lulls the 
battered weather-vane on the barn creaked and 
whined. It was comfortable In bed and he lay there 
listening to the storm and remembering that Peleg 
had been hinting at the coming of dirty weather. 
Drowsily he wondered if there would be any wrecks 
along shore. 

While he was dressing next morning he heard 




voices in the road below, and opening the window saw 
Jim Rogers, the fish peddler, sitting in his wagon with 
the rain sluicing from the peak of his sou'wester and 
carrying on a shouted conversation with Mrs. Baker. 

"What did you say 'twas, Mr. Rogers?" screamed 
the old lady, speaking through the closed blinds of 
her chamber window. 

"The Freedom; big six-masted coal barge. She's 
high and dry on the Razorback. Hawser parted. 
The tug's tryin' to git her off now, but Cap'n Knowles 
telephoned Sam Hardy that 'twan't no use." 

"Do tell! It's been a hard storm. One of our 
henhouse shutters has blown off. Oh, Mr. Rogers! 
fetch a quart of clams 'round to the back door and 
leave 'em on the steps, won't you ? I'll pay you next 
time you call." 

Bradley didn't hear the last part of this conversa- 
tion. He was struggling into his clothes. Only Miss 
Prissy was up when he came downstairs, and she pro- 
tested strongly against his going without breakfast. 
He compromised by hastily swallowing a slice of 
bread and butter, and then, putting on his oilskins, 
ran out of the house and down the road. 

They were talking about it everywhere. Caleb 
Weeks, who was taking down the shutters of his store, 
called as Bradley splashed past : 

"She's a good job for somebody," was Caleb's hail. 
"Too big for you and Er though, I'm 'fraid." 

"Squealer" Wixon met him a little further on. 
"Knowles says she's hard and fast," said Squealer. 
"The tug's goin' to give it up. They're telephonin' 

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Cook now. The Boston Salvage C(»npany'll git her 
off, or try to, I cal'late." 

Bradley's objective point was the post-office. He 
wanted to sec Hardy and learn the particulars. But 
Captain Titcomb was there before him ; they met at 
the door. The Captain's eyes were shining. 

"Come on, Brad!" he said. "I was jest goin' to 
send for you. I know all about it." 

He told the story as they walked to the wharf in 
the pouring rain. It was as Rogers had said; the 
great barge, twin sister of the Liberty, was on her 
way from Boston to New York under tow. The storm 
had come up unexpectedly and the hawser had parted. 
Now she was fast on the Razorback shoal. 

"Crimusteel" exclaimed the Captain. "Won't she 
be a job I Brad I Brad I if you and me could only have 
the chance 1" 

Alvin Bearse, who boarded nowadays at the house 
of a relative in Orham, was already on board the Div- 
ing Belie when the partners reached her. 

"I've been expectin' you," he said. "Steam's up." 

The trip down was a rough one, even while they 
were in the bay. But when they turned Setuckit Point 
and stood out over the rips the Diving Belle climbed 
one great wave after another, coasting down their 
greenish-gray slopes like a chip, and pouring salt 
water from her scuppers in a steady stream. 

Even before they reached the Point they saw the 
six masts of the barge over the low sand dunes against 
the rain-streaked sky. Now, as they drew nearer to 
the shoal, she loomed larger and larger. Her high 

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Slack sides, with the rollers breaking against them, 
looked like those of a mammoth whale, and the little 
tug, puffing and rocking a short distance away, like a 
baby beside its mother. 

"She's hard and fast for sure," muttered Captain 
Titcomb. "Five thousand tons of coal inside of her 
and this no'theaster drivin' her further on every min- 
ute — I swan to man, Brad! she's there for awhile! 
No tug — nor three tugs, fur's that goes — can haul her 
off. 'Member what I said when the Liberty come so 
near landin* where she is ? It's an anchor and cable 
job and we can do that as well as anybody and cheaper 
than the big fellers. If they'll only let us try 1 By 
crimustee I they've got to 1" 

That evening the train brought representatives 
of three large wrecking companies to Orham. The 
younger Mr. Cook came also. The partners saw him, 
but he would give them no satisfaction. "You must 
come to Boston to-morrow if you want to bid," he 
said. "But I tell you frankly, price isn't the only 
thing; we must be satisfied that the job can be carried 
through." It was evident that he didn't believe they 
could handle It. 

But Bradley and the Captain were certain they 
could handle it if the chance was given them. Sev- 
enty men, at least, would be needed, and to house and 
feed them was the problem. The Boston Salvage 
Company had lighters and barges for this purpose, 
and they had not. But there was the big shanty at 
the Point, the one in which the picnic had been held. 
Thirty men had lived and slept there before. By 

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building new bunka and slinging hammodcs, twice 
that number, at least, could find room. The rest must 
occupy other shanties or come up to Orham at night. 
The partners schemed and figured until nearly four 
o'clock in the morning. 

One of them must go to Boston that day. The 
Captain said Bradley ought to go because Cook knew 
him, but the junior partner didn't agree. 

"You go, Cap'n Ez," he said, with decision. 
"You're a better bargainer than I am, and it'll take a 
good talker and a clever trader to land this job In the 
face of the cCHnpetitlon. Go, and good luck be with 

So the Captain went on the first train. He prom- 
ised to telegraph as soon as a decision was reached. 

But no telegram came that day. All the next fore- 
noon Bradley hung about the station waiting. The 
noon train arrived; no Captain, and still no word. 
But, after supper, as the anxious young man walked 
up to meet the evening train, it was evident that some- 
body knew something. 

Obed Nickerson was standing on die comer. 
"Brad," he said. Then, in a low tcme, "Brad, J 
wouldn't stand for it if I was you. You're a partner 
as much as he is, and I wouldn't let him drag me into 
such a fool deal. I like you, and, fur's that goes, 1 
like Ez ; but he's crazy. Say no, and put your foot 

"What are you talking about?" asked Bradley \n 

"What? Don't you know? Why — well, then. I 

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ain't goin' to tell you. Only you take my advice and 
say no; that's all." 

Obed's puzzling advice made Bradley feel even ' 
more uneasy. He determined to wait until the train 
arrived, and then, if the Captain didn't come, to tele- 
graph to the United States Hotel. But the first man 
off the train was Captain Titcomb. 

The Captain shook his partner's hand and said, 
"Hello I" He looked very tired — yes, and worried. 

"Didn't get it, hey?" asked Bradley. "Well, I 
hardly dared think you would." 

"Oh, I got it! Yes, I got it I" 

"You did/ Glory hallelujah I" 

"Um — hum. Now don't ask any more questions 
here. Come on down to my room." 

He was silent all the way to the Traveller's Rest, 
and, for a man who had just secured the greatest con- 
tract of his business life, seemed strangely downcast. 
When they reached the room he locked the door and 
threw his overcoat and hat on the sofa. 

"Now " began Bradley, but the Captain held 

up his hand. 

"Set down," he said. "It's a long yam. Got a 
cigar in your clothes? Thanks." 

He lit the cigar and, twisting it into the comer of 
his mouth, began to talk. 

"'Well," he said slowly, "I made Boston all right, 
and stood for Cook and Son's under full canvas. I 
hailed the young squirt with the hay on his upper lip 
and asked him if the old man was in. 'What do you 
want to see him for ?' says he. 'Son,' says I, 'you trot 



along like a good little boy and tell the old man that 
the feller that's goln' to git the Freedom off Orham 
shoal is out here.' That kind of fetched him over 
with a slat, and he went in and told Cook. In a min- 
ute out he comes and pilots me into the skipper's state- 

"I cal'late Cook was expectin' to see another feller. 
'Are you from the Salvage Company?' says he. 'No,' 
says I, takin' a chair; 'my name's Titcomb. I'm from 
Orham. My partner's a young feller name of Nick- 
erson ; he's the one you picked out to lift the Liberty's 
anchor that time.' Well, that way of puttin' it made 
him laugh and he told me to go ahead and spin my 
yam, only be quick. I spun it, but I ain't sartin that 
I was quick. I never talked so afore in my life, 
though I've beat it Mice sence. When I hove anchor 
fin'Uy, he says, 'Cap'n, there's nothin' the matter with 
your nerve, is there ?' I told him no, I hadn't had to 
take physic for it. 'Well,' says he, 'I'd like to give 
you the job, but you ain't big enough. This ain't 

"Then I got after him again, told him about the 
new schooner, drew a diagram of the shoal and made 
it plain jest how she'd got to be got off if 'twas done 
at all, and that we could do it as well as anybody else 
in the world and a whole lot cheaper. At last he told 
me to come in and see htm again late that afternoon. 

"I was 'round on time, you bet 1 The hay-lip chap 
told me the old man had gone for the day, but that 
he'd left word that 'twas no use, our firm wan't big 
enough for the job. Says I to hay-lip, 'Where's the 



old man live ?' He didn't know, bein' a good liar. I 
asked him, in an interested sort of way, if he was dead 
sure where he lived himself, and went out to paw over 
the directory. Inside of an hour I was on an electric 
car bound for Brookline. 

"Talk about houses 1 Those Cooks live in a place 
that makes Barry's, down on the clil! road, look like 
Peleg's shanty. I sailed up forty fathom of front 
steps and hove taut on the bell. A darky, witfi more 
brass buttons than the skipper of a Cunarder, come to 
the door. Says he, 'Your card, please.' Says I, 'Never 
mind the card; Mr. Cook had an app'intment with 
me this afternoon.' Which was true, you'll notice. 
So he steered me into a room that was as full of 
pictures as a museum, and there I set on the edge 
of a velvet chair and tried to look as if I was used 
to it. 

"Pretty soon down comes Cook, in a swaller-tail 
coat. He looked mad. 'Is it you ?' he says. 'Didn't 
you git my message?' I told him I'd got it, but that 
'twouldn't be fair to him to let that end it. I said 
that on purpose, 'cause I jedged, from what you'd 
said and what I'd seen myself, that the way to git on 
with him was to be independent. He grinned and 
then I commenced to talk. And how I did talk! The 
momin' sermon wan't within a mile of the evenin' 
service. I told him flat-footed how much the contract 
meant to us and all that. Pretty soon young Cook 
come in and he listened, too. 

*'Fin'lly the old man says, 'We!!, Titcomb, what*s 
your figger?' I told him what you and me had agreed 



on. He seemed surprised, I thought. Then he and 
his son went into the next room and talked. When 
they come back, he says, 'Titcomb, you've got the per- 
severance of the devil — or that partner of yours.' 
(Put you in good company, hey, Brad?) 'Your price, 
I don't mind tellin' you,' he goes on, 'is lower than 
anyone else has given. If you were a bigger concern 
I guess I'd give the job to you. Anyway, you come in 
and see me to-morrcr.' 

"Well, this momin' I was at his office when the 
doors opened. And there I set until after two this 
afternoon. A feller from the Salvage Company come 
in while I was there, and so did one from the South 
Boston tug people. They went into Cook's room and 
come out again. Fin'lly the old man sent for me. 
He and his son were there together. 'Titcomb,' says 
he, 'I'm a fool and I know it, but I'm goin' to let you 
try to git the Freedom clear.' " 

Bradley, who had listened rather impatiently to 
this long yam, struck the table with his hand. 
"Great I" he cried. "Cap'ii Ez, you're a wonder 1 
Shake hands 1" 

But the Captain did not shake. Instead he looked 
at the floor. "Wait a minute, Brad," he observed. 
"That wan't all he said. He went on to tel! me that 
in givin' us the job he was riskin' a bran-new vessel 
worth eighty thousand dollars. 'Mind,' he says, 'I 
b'lieve you can do it if anybody can, but I won't risk 
another cent. I won't pay by the day, I'll give you 
fifteen thousand when she's off the shoal and towed to 
Boston ; but I won't pay a red until she is. It's got to 



be a contract job, payment on delivery of the 
goods.' " 

Bradley's fact fell. "Of course that settled it," he 
said. "You couldn't accept such an idiotic offer as 

Captain Ezra took his cigar from his mouth. 
"Well, Brad," he answered, soberly, "that*s what I 
did; I accepted It." 

The junior partner sprang from his chair. "Good 
Lord above!" he cried. "Man, you're crazyl" 

"Well now, Brad " 

"Well now, Cap'n Ez 1 Look here ! you and I have 
put almost our last copper into the new schooner. 
We've got practically no ready money. We must hire 
from seventy to one hundred men at three dollars a 
day and pay them every week. We must feed 'em. 
We must spend money fitting up the shanty to lodge 
'em in. It'll take, maybe, a month before we get her 
clear — if w» do clear her. We may have to spend five 
or six thousand before then. Where's the money com- 
ing from?" 

"I know all that. We'll mortgage the Diving Belle 
and raise the cash." 

"Are you out of your head? We've been lucky so 
far and haven't had a failure. But failures are bound 
to ccnne. Suppose we work on this barge for a month 
and then a heavy gale strikes— as it's likely to strike 
any time now ; just the season for it. The Freedom 
couldn't stand one real November gale on that shoal ; 
she'd break up or pound the bottom out of her. Then 
we've lost all we've spent; the schooner would be 



taken to pay the mortgage, and you and I — ^where 
would we be?" 

"But, Brad, think of what it means to as if we 
make good." 

"Think of what it means if we don'tl The end of 
Titcomb and Nickerson ; that's sure." 

"But they'll have had a nm for their money. Loc^ 
here, sonl 'Twan't kindness and love for you and 
me that made Cook and Son give us this contract. 
'Twas 'cause our price was low and 'cause they know 
mighty welt we can do it jest as well as the biggest 
concern on earth. It*s anchors and cables, not big 
tugs and lighters, that'll work ofF that barge. Cook 
says heave the coal overboard; don't try to save it." 

"Cap'n Ez, we got that job because nobody else 
would take it that way. We can do it if anybody can, 
but nobody else would be fool enough to gamble 
against the Lord Almighty's weather^ We'd be called 
fools from here to Provincetown." . 

"Not if we win out, we wouldn't." 

"Well, it's ridiculous and I say no." 

The Captain drew a long breath. "All right," he 
said, gloomily. "Maybe you're right, Brad. It is a 
crazy gamble, I s'pose, and I was afraid you'd see it 
that way. Only you must make up your mind to this : 
if we give up this chance we must settle back and be 
^nothin' but anchor-draggers the rest of our lives. 
We've flunked once, and, no matter how good the 
reason is, no more big jobs'll come our way. But, if 
we make good — whew 1" 

Now it was Bradley's turn to hesitate. There was 



some sense in what his partner said. But it was play- 
ing against odds and with the last dollar on the table. 
Obed Nickerson had given him a hint of what the 
townsfolk would think of it. 

The Captain noticed the hesitation. "I've done 
nothin' but go over the thing sence I left Cook's 
office," he said. "But, the way I'm built, I'd rather 
go back to the coastin' trade than be a cne>hoss 
wrecker. Either I'll be the real thing or nothin', and 
I'm ready to take the chance. But you're ha'f owner 
— or pretty nigh ha'f — and what you say goes." 

It was that pretty nigh that influenced Bradley. 
He realized that all he was, in a business sense, he 
owed to the Captain. And the latter had more money 
invested in the company than he had. Then, too, the 
thought of Gus came to him. It was for her that he 
had worked and hoped and planned. Now that she 
didn't care, why should he care either? He sat still, 
thinking, and the Captain, too, was silent. 

Suddenly Bradley spoke. "Oh, hang it I what's the 
odds?" he exclaimed, recklessly. "Go ahead, Cap'nl 
I'll sink or swim with you !" 

Captain Ezra grasped his hand. "I swore you 
would," he cried. "Son, this Job's goin' to make us 1" 

Bradley's laugh was short and rather bitter. 

"Yes," he said, "make — or break." 

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IT was close to daybreak when the partners sepa- 
rated. They had planned and figured and 
estimated, and each now knew what his part 
in the great fight was to be. As he was leaving 
Bradley asked the Captain how, in his opinion, Obed 
Nickerson had learned that they had the contract. 

" 'Phoned the Salvage Company," replied Captain 
Ezra, decidedly. "I'll bet on it. You see. Brad, this 
job's a big one and the Salvage folks might have fig- 
gered there was sugar enough in it to drop a lump in 

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friend Obed's teacup providin' he stirred up their 
spoon. Well, good night — or good momin', rather. 
It's double or quits with us this time, son, for sartin, 
but if Titcomb and Nickerson do go under it'll be 
with colors flyin'." 

Within the week Setuckit Point, from a lonely, 
gull-haunted sand spit, inhabited only by the life sav- 
ing crew and the lighthouse keeper and his family, 
became a small town, the population of which left 
each morning for the Razorback shoal and returned 
at night to sleep and eat in the big shanty and those 
surrounding it. 

Captain Titcomb saw the people at the Wellmouth 
Bank and placed a mortgage on the Dhing Belle. As 
the partners owned her free and clear, he was able to 
get her cost price, five thousand dollars. 

Placards announdng that men were wanted at 
once, and at three dollars a day and board, were hung 
in the post-offices and railway stations In Orham, 
South Orham, West Harniss, Hamiss Centre, Well- 
mouth and other towns. Also an advertisement ap- 
peared in the Item. The response was immediate. 
Work at good wages was scarce in the winter months 
and men came from twenty miles away to obtain it. 

The Diving Belle carried them down to the Point. 
There, under Barney Small's supervision, some set to 
work building extra bunks in the big shanty, slinging 
hammocks, putting up stoves — the partners bought 
five second-hand ranges — and making three neighbor- 
ing abandoned fishing huts inhabitable. The rest 
worked over the stranded coal barge, getting out the 



anchors, stripping her of all unnecessary iron work 
and rigging, and preparing to bring the coal from her 
hold and dump it overboard. 

Seventy men were hired altogether, and to feed 
them it was necessary to buy large quantities of pro- 
visions. Captain Titcomb managed this part of the 
business and the bargains he made with Caleb Weeks 
and other storekeepers were wonderful, and, In some 
cases, not too profitable for the sellers. As Mr. Weeks 
said: "Ez Titcomb spent ha'f the forenoon with me 
to-day, and afore he got through talkin' he'd tangled 
me up so with figgers that I don't know whether I sold 
him salt at a cent a pound or corn meal at a dollar a 
barrel. I'll have to put in the rest of the day cai'latin' 
and addin' up, so's to know whether I've made money 
or lost it." 

Soon the work cm the Freedom was in full swing 
and the great hull hummed like a bee-hive. Men 
were standing by the hatches and by the derricks. 
Men were working by the rail transferring ropes and 
ironwork to the Diving Belle. Down In the hold 
gangs of men, with faces sooty black except where the 
sweat streaked them with pallid channels, were shov- 
aJiing the coal into the big iron buckets that the creak- 
ing derricks lifted and swung over the side. The 
donkey engines pufEed and whistled, the chains rat- 
tled, and ton after ton of good hard coal roared fr<Hn 
the opening buckets and splashed into the tumbling 
waves of the channel. 

The Captain and Bradley, together for a moment, 
stood in the bows, where the heavy cable led, taut and 



ngid, from the windlass, out to the submerged an- 
chors. The Freedom had moved slightly in the last 
few days and the partners were encouraged. 

"By crimus, Brad I" exclaimed Captain Titcomb, 
pointing with a grin on his grimy face, to the stout 
little Diving Belle just then shooting off to the Point 
with a load of strippings from the Freedom; "that's 
the litde critter that has made it possible for us to 
handle this job. I don't know what we'd a-done if we 
hadn't had her. See her go, will you ? Flies 'round 
like a flea in a fryin' pan, don't she? You never put 
your money into anything better for the size than her, 
pnd don't you let that fact slip your mem'ry." 

The new schooner had proved her worth twice 
ever. Equipped as she was, with the engine, she per- 
formed the part of a steam launch, a tug and a ferry- 
boat. She had carried out and dropped the anchors 
in the channel ; she took her owners and a few of the 
hands to and from Orham every night and morning; 
she was always ready and always useful. In fact, as 
the Captain said, they could scarcely have handled the 
job without her. 

Bradley, dirty and bareheaded, looked at the little 

"I shan't feel easy until we pay off that mortgage," 
he said. "And, another thing, you mustn't forget to 
see Obed and close that insurance deal. It worries me 
to think she is not protected at all." 

"That's so. Fact is, I've been so everlastin' busy 
lately that I'd foi^t to eat If I hadn't got in the habit 
of it. But I must settle that right off. The only 



thing that's kept it from goin' through afore is on ac- 
count of that dynamite in the hold. The papers 
are ready, only Obed won't dicker until we take 
- that stuff ofE; his comp'ny won't insure against ex- 

A little of the dynamite that they had been using In 
blowing up the hulk containing the tar was still stared 
in the Diving Belle's hold. Captain Titcorab had 
promised to see that it was taken ashore, but he al- 
ways forgot it. Bradley would, himself, have at- 
tended to the matter, but the Captain seemed to take 
the offer as a personal reflection on his own manage- 
ment. It was the same with the insurance. Anything 
that the Captain undertook to do he hated to give up 
to another. 

"Don't you want me to attend to that dynamite?" 
asked the junior partner. 

"No, no ; I'll 'tend to it myself. Told you I wouldj 
didn't I?" 

Bradley saw that it was time to change the subject. 
He looked across the ocean to the horizon. The air 
was clear and cold and the November sunlight lay 
upon the water with a steely metallic glitter that had 
no warmth in it. 

"Wind to the south'ard," he observed, "and seems 
likely to hold that way. If it only holds fair long 
enough we'll win out yet." 

"Where's that special weather bureau of ours?" 
asked the Captain. "Ain't had a prophecy for two 
days or more." He stepped to the hatchway. "Hi I 
Peleg 1" he shouted. "Peleg Myrick, ahoy I" 



A distant voice from the hold replied that Peleg 
was aboard the Diving Belle. 

"That's so," said Captain Titcomb. "So he Is. 
Well, we'll see him later." 

When the schooner again ran alongside the barge 
Mr. Myrick was summoned and clambered on 
board. The weather prophet had coal dust in 
his nostrils, in his mouth, and in decorative 
smouches on his cheeks. As for his whiskers, the 
red and gray had disappeared; they were now a solid 

"Peleg," observed the Captain, "does Skeezicks 
know you when you git home nowadays?" 

"Know me?" repeated the astonished owner of the 
dog that was just like a human. "tCnow me! Course 
he docs." 

"Well, I didn't know. You look so much like a 
cross between a darky and a Kickapoo Sagwa peddler 
in his war paint that I shouldn't think your mother'd 
know you, let alone a dog." 

Mr. Myrick pondered. "Well, you see," he replied 
slowly, "mother she's been dead for a consider'ble 
spell, and Skeezicks " 

"Skeezicks ain't. I see. That's the best reason I 
know of. Say I how about gales? Got any marked 
on the calendar?" 

The prophet's dreamy gaze wandered mournfully 
to the sky. 

"No," he drawled; "I drai't cal'late there'll be a 
storm for the next week. After that — ^wall, I don't 
know. I've been havin' a feelin' that the weather'd 



shift, but p'raps 'tvon't. Still, I'm kind of scart — 
kind of scart of the week after next." 

Captain Titcomb looked troubled. "Thunder I** 
he muttered. "I swan I hope that ain't so I" 

Bradley looked at him in puzzled surprise. 

"Now, honest, Cap'n Ez," he exclaimed. "You 
aren't worried because that haHF-baked chap says — 
here, Pelegl come back here a minute. Say, how do 
you get your tips on the weather?" 

Mr. Myrick hesitated and looked troubled. 
"Wall" he replied, "I — I — you see, I don't gin'rally 
tell that 'cause folks laugh at me. But, bein' as you're 
my boss, I s'pose I ought to tell you a little. You see, 
I jest sort of feci it in my bones." 

"Any particular btmes?" 

"Why, my laig bones mostly. If a no'theaster's 
comin' my right laig sort of aches, and if it's a sou'- 
easter it'll fetch me in the left one. Then there's 
other " 

Bradley interrupted him by a roar of laughter. The 
prophet lodced hurt. 

"There I" he sighed. "I knew you'd lafF." 

"All right, Pelcg; trot along. There, Cap'n Ez, 
does that satisfy you?" 

The Captain laughed, too, but he shook his head. 

"I don't know," he replied. "Them leg bones of 
Peleg's seem to have been pretty good barometers 
afore now. Well, what is to be will be, as the fellow 
with dyspepsy said when he tackled the mince pie. 
My I this won't do for me, nor for vou elthTi 



They separated to plunge again into their work. 
But Bradley's bint about the dynamite still troubled 
Captain Titcomb's conscience. When the Diving Belle 
came back from her next trip to the beach he hailed 
Peleg, and, calling him to him, said: 

"Peleg, I've got a job for you. I want you to git 
out that dynamite we've got in the hold for'ard, and 
take it ashore some'ercs." 

Now, that dynamite was Mr. Myrick's particular 
dread. He was more afraid of it than he was of any- 
thing else on earth. The Captain knew this, and that 
was why he always selected Peleg to bring up a stick 
of the stuff when the latter was needed, "It's the 
scared man that's always careful," said the skipper. 
"Peleg hangs to them sticks like a sucker to a bam 
door. He won't drop 'em, unless his knee j'ints rattle 
loose altogether from nervousness." 

When the weather prophet heard the Captain's or- 
der the visible parts of his countenance turned white. 

"Oh, my soul and body!" he gasped. "You don't 
want me to tech them pesky things, do you, Cap'n 
Ez ? Git somebody else ; do I" 

"No," replied the skipper, gravely. "I wouldn't 
trust nobody else. Tumble 'em out I" 

"Tumble 'em out I Don't talk in that careless kind 
of way, Cap'n Ez. What'll I do with 'em?" 

"Oh! dig a hole and bury 'em; put 'em under your 
bunk in the shanty; feed 'em to Skeezicks; only g^t 
'em out of the schooner sometime pretty soon." 

"Will — will Sunday do ?" 

"Yes, yes ! whenever you have the time. Hi 1 Sam 

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Hanimcmd, what are you settin* there for? Git back 
to your engine." 

Mr. Hammond was still with them, although his 
usefulness as a diver was gtme, owing to the tempo- 
rary abandonment of the tar venture. But, because 
they anticipated returning to this work If the Freedom 
should be floated, he was retained at his old wages 
and was now running one of the hoisting engines, a 
labor with which he was more or less familiar, al- 
though he ctmsidered it beneath him and shirked 
whenever he could. 

This shirking irritated Captain Titcomb. 

"Consarn him I" he growled. "Let him rither fish 
or cut bait, one or t'other. If he's too good for the 
job, why, then, the job's too good for him. If I had 
my way we'd come to a settlement in about ha'f a 

The majority of the men hired by the partoers were 
intensely loyal and thoroughly optimistic ; they knew 
the circumstances under which the contract had been \ 
taken and would not consider the possibility of failure 
for a moment. But Hammond was the head of a 
little coterie of pessimists, amwig whom were Henry 
Simmons and a few others from Orham, and "Lon" 
Clark and "Ike" Bodkin from Hamiss. These croak- 
ers sneered at Captain Ezra when his back was turned 
and pretended to pity Bradley. When the pay enve- 
lopes were distributed they congratulated themselves 
loudly and wondered if this time was the last. 

Bradley was aware of all this, because Barney told 
him, but he would not permit his partner to call Ham- 

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mond to account. Sam should not have the oppor- 
tunity of telling Gus that he was the victim of perse- 
cution by an unsuccessful rival; not if Bradley could 
help it, he shouldn't. Captain Titcomb understood, 
and so Sam was not reproved and grew more and 
more intolerable. 

All day long the Freedom's deck was a whirl of 
industry. The Captain and Bradley were always in 
the thick of it, and were dog tired when six o'clock 
came. Then the cable was tightened and chocked, 
the watch was set and most of the crews were trans- 
ferred in relays to the beach, to eat supper in the 
shanty and shout, sing and play cards until bedtime. 
The partners, with Hammond, Bcarsc and a few 
others, went up to Orham in the Diving Belle. 

The "old maids" had been very solemn of late. 
When Bradley first told them that his firm had se- 
cured the biggest wrecking contract ever handled by 
Orham men they were jubilant. But then came Miss 
Busteed, brimming over — like a sort of living "extra" 
— ^with exaggerated reports of village opinion con- 
cerning that contract, and the sisters began to worry. 
Other callers, whose views were more weighty than 
Melissa's, came also, and now even Miss Prissy was 
nervously anxious. 

Bradley went to bed early nowadays. On the nig^it 
following the conversation with Pelcg he took his 
lamp from the shelf soon after supper was cleared 
away. Captain Titcomb called, but remained only a 
litdc while. 

&g the young man rose from his chair Miss Prissy, 



who had been watching him over her glasses while 
pretending to mend some stoddngs, dropped the work 
in her lap, and a^ed, "Bradley, how are you gettin' 
on down at the Point?" 

"Tip top," was the reply. 

"Yes, you always say that; but are you gainin' as 
fast as you ought to? You don't think there's any— 
any chance of your not beln' able to git that vessel 
off, do you ? Folks seem to think " 

Bradley laughed. "Has Melissa been here to- 
day?" he interrupted. 

"No, she hasn't, but Mr, Langworthy has. Oh, 
Bradley, we hear such dreadful things. Mr. Lang- 
worthy came here almost on purpose to try to git us to 
coax you to give it up 'fore it's too late. He says the 
whole town thinks you can't carry it through. Men 
that know all about wreckin' say " 

"Who says — the Jeremiah Club ?" The "Jeremiah 
Oub" was Captain Titcomb's name for the daily 
gathering about the stove in Weeks' store. 

"No, indeed I Men like Cap'n Jonadab Wixon 
and Mr. Wingate and lota more. They say that 
you've mortgaged your vessel and that if you fail 
you'll be ruined — absolutely ruined. They lay It all 
,to Cap'n Ezra. Of course Tempy and me stand up 
for you and the Cap'n and pretend we ain't a mite 
anxious. But, oh Bradley, if any such awful thing 
^ould happen to you — to our boy- — ''twould break 
our hearts." 

Bradley felt a pang of self-reproach. Miss Prlssy's 
eyes were wet and the tears were running down Miss 



Tempy's cheeks. He was very grave as he an- 

"Miss Prissy," he said, "please don't worry. I 
know how people are talking, but honestly and truly 
I think we shall succeed. If we do, it means every- 
thing to us. If we don't — well, whatever happens, if 
God lets me live, you and Miss Tempy shall never 
suffer. I owe everything in- the world to you. I'll 
promise you something else, too: If we win out now, 
I'll never take another contract where the risk is as 
big as this. Now, good night, and to please me, dcHi't 
worry any more." 

As he was leaving the room Miss Tempy said, tim- 
idly, "Bradley, you don't go to praycr-meetin* any 
more. Prissy and me pray for you every night. I 
hope you won't let your bus'ness crowd out your re- 

Bi-adley shook his head, answered hurriedly that 
he was working hard nowadays and was tired, and 
went up to his room. The last time he had been to 
prayer-meeting Gus went with him. He had no wish 
to go there now, and perhaps see her in Sam's com- 

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AT that very moment Mr. Hammond, seated 
on the fence by the vestry door, was puffing 
at a cigar and talking in an unusually loud 
voice of New York and his experiences there. He 
seemed to be very happy and his btnsterous laughter 
penetrated even to the little company of worshippers 
on the settees inside. 

When the meeting was over he threw away the 
stump of his cigar and shouldered himself into the 
front row of waiting swains by the door. As Gus 
came out he stepped forward to meet her, and in do- 
ing so bumped against Mrs. Piper, who, looking the 
other way, had not seen him, and, being deaf, had not 
heard his step. 

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"Gracious sakes alive 1" exclaimed the old lady, 
rubbing her shoulder. "Excuse me, Mr. Hammond, 
I didn't sec you." 

Sam nodded serenely. "Don't mention it," he 
shouted, winking over his shoulder at Georgiana 
Bailey. "You didn't hurt me a bit." 

Georgiana girled, and most of the young men 
grinned at the joke. Gus glanced hurriedly at Mrs. 
Piper and then at Hammond. She looked surprised 
and troubled. 

Sam took her arm without asking permission ano 
led her to the sidewalk. She still looked back. 

"I'm afraid you hurt Mrs. Piper," she said. "What' 
made you so rough?" 

Her escort laughed. "I guess it won't be fatal," 
he observed. "If I'd managed to fracture that voice 
of hers so's she couldn't sing, maybe the congregation 
would give me a vote of thanks." 

Gus didn't reply. There was something in her 
companion's manner that made her recoil instinctive- 
ly. She disengaged her arm from his, but he took it 
again and walked on, joking and laughing. 

"What a crowd of jays there is in this town," he 
remarked after a while, and, with a sne«r, "enough 
to stock a dime museum." 

He bad always spoken patronizingly of the towns- 
people — that she had not minded sd miAh, coming 
from a city man, but heretofore he had not openly 
made fun of them. She resented the remark, but 
most of all the tone in which it was uttered. 

"Why do you stay here then?" she asked, coldly. 



"Why? I guess you know the reason all right. 
Don't you, Gus? Hey?" 

He chuckled and bent down to look in her face. 
She shivered and drew away irom him. 

His hand upon her arm, the look he had just given 
her, his air of assumed prt^rietorship^above all, 
that new and vulgar something in his nianner, as if 
the real soul of the man was showing for the first 
time, filled her with disgust. 

She did not speak again until they reached the gate. 
Then she said, without looking at him, "Good night." 

He put his hand over hers on the latch. "Oh, say," 
he exclaimed, with a laugh, "this isn't a square deal, 
Gus. Aren't you goin' to ask me in ?" 

She tried to snatch her hand away, but he held it 
fast, and, leaning across the gate, threw his arm about 
her waist and drew her to him. 

"There!" he cried, exultantly, "this is more like It. 
This is more like friends. Give us a kiss. You're too 
high and mighty to be the prettiest girl on the Cape.'' 

She struggled from his grasp and stood panting. 
"Oh!" she whispered, with a shudder, as she realized 
the truth. "Oh, you've been drinkingl" 

He laughed foolishly and shrugged his shoulders. 
"Oh, what's one glass between friends?" he said. "I 
stopped into Web's a minute and he set 'em up. First 
drink I've had since I left New York. Thought you 
was too sensible to have blue ribbon noti<m3. Come; 
be more sociable — that's a good girl." 

She was afraid of him now, not afraid of physical 
violence, but as she would have feared the contart 



with something loathsome and unclean. A sense of 
utter loneliness came over her. She longed for pro- 
tection and help. She thought of Bradley ; he would 
have helped her; she could have trusted him. But she 
had driven him out of her life, and this fellow . 

"Go I" she cried. "Go/" 

Sam ceased to smile. Other girls had told him to 
go, but never in that way or with such quivering 
scorn. He began to realize that this was the end of 
his game; he had lost the prize. But he made one 
more efiort. 

"Oh, say," he cried. "Don't get mad, Gus. I was 
only fooling. Don't be such an old maid. Come 

She turned on her heel and, without replying, walk- 
ed toward the house. Hammond swore between his 
teeth, opened the gate, took one step in her direction, 
and then stopped. He laughed a short, ugly laugh, 
and nodded. 

"You mean it, do you?" he asked. "Want me to 
clear out, hey? Well, don't you fool yourself that I 
don't know what ails you. You can't come the high 
moral game on me, my lady. You're whining after 
that sneaking Sunday-school kid, Brad Nickerson, the 
fellow that didn't care enough about you to lift his 
hand, but stood still and let me walk off with his girl, 
as if she was as common as dishwater. The whole 
town thinks you're going to marry me. What'U they 
say when I show 'em I'm done with you ?" He laugh- 
ed again and put his hands in his pockets. 

"I'm going," he said. "I'm goin£ all right. You 

by Google 


go to bed and dream aboot Brad. Oreams come true 
sometimes, they say. Maybe fll dream about him, 

He pulled his hat over his eyes and walked rapidly 
away. Gus watched him go. Then she went into the 
house, threw herself into a chair beside the table and 
laid her head upon her arms. 

Sam plunged straight on through the mud and wet 
grass until he reached the back door of the billiard- 
room. Web Saunders came hurrying to see who it 
was that had knocked: only the tried and true were 
admitted at that door. 

"Hello, Saml" he exclaimed, with a look of relief, 
"Why, what's the matter?" 

"Nothing," replied Hammond gruffly. "Where's 
that jug of yours, Web? I'm dying for another 

After cautioning his visitor against speaking so 
loud, Mr. Saunders indicated the whereabouts of the 
jug. Sam poured out a liberal dose of the villainous 
cheap whiskey and drank it forthwith. Then he 
poured out another. 

He refused to go home that night and Web put 
him to bed upon one of the settees in the little back 
room. And in that back room he stayed throughout 
the next day, drinking frequently, in spite of his 
friend's protests, and growing more ugly with every 

That next day, Friday, was wet and foggy, with 
occasional cold showers, but there was no wind worth 
menticMiing and the wreckers put in ten hours of the 

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hardest kind of work. The Freedom had moved per- 
ceptibly In the sweep of the latest tides and the part- 
ocra were happy in consequence. 

It was dark, though a few stars were showisg 
dimly through the mist overhead, when the Diving 
Belle entered Orham Harbor that evening. Alvin 
Bearse was at the helmt and he brought the schooner 
alongside the wharf. A half-dozen men — the only 
members of the wrecking gang who returned to Or- 
ham at the end of the day's work — climbed over the 
Btringpiece and departed for their homes in the vil- 
lage. Bearse remained on board when the vessel ran 
out to her moorings, to help his employers make snug 
for the night. 

A few mimites later Bradley stood by the cabin 
door, with a lantern in his hand. Alvin and the Cap- 
tain were forward. Suddenly the junior partner was 
aware that some one was standing beside him. 

"Well, Cap'n Ez," he observed ; "all ready to go 

There was no answer. He looked up — into the 
face of Sam Hammond. The diver wore no over- 
coat. His stiff hat, battered and muddy, was pushed 
back on his head. His face, under the tumbled, damp 
hair on the forehead, was flushed and scowling, and 
%Is half-shut eyes had an ugly glimmer. Even in the 
dim light of the lantern bis condition was unmistaka* 

Hammond's behavior in his native village had 
heretofore been of the best, so far as this particultt 
»ke was concerned. Bradley was dumbfounded. 



"Hello, Sam !" he exclaimed. "Where'd you crane 
from ?" 

"Off the wharf," was the gruff answer. "Where'd 
you think, you fool ?" 

It was evident that the fellow was spoiling for a 
light. Bradley, however, had no wish to quarrel with 
a drunken man, especially this one. 

"All right, all right," he said, mechanically, "I 
didn't see you come aboard, that's all. Want to see 
Cap'n Ez?" 

"No, I don't want to see Cap'n Ez nor any other 
'longshore thief but you. I want to go below and get 
my things." 

"Your things ?" 

"Yes, my things. My oilskins and the rest of my 
stuff. I wouldn't leave 'em aboard this rotten tub 
another minute for a million dollars." 

"Oh, very well." Bradley swung open the cabin 
door and started to lead the way with the lantern. 
Hammond shoved him aside. 

"I'll go alone," he muttered. 

"You can't see without the lantern. You'll have to 
go with me or wait till to-morrow morning." 

"Give me that lantern," snarled Sam, making a 
grab for it. 

Bradley held it out of reach. 

"You're not fit to carry it," he said, shortly. 

"You mealy-mouthed sneak I" shouted Hammond 
"I'm fit to fix you." 

Bradley saw the blow coming. He dropped thr- 
lantern and ducked. Next instant Sam was upon him, 

D,.;,l,ZDdbyG00gIC ■ 


screaming and cursing. They tripped over the swing- 
ing door and fell to the deck. Alvin and Captain Tit- 
comb came running from the fo'castle. 

"What in the nation ?" cried the Captain. 

"Here, quit that, you 1 Let him alone, Brad I" 

Hammond yelled and fought as they dragged him 
to his feet. Finally, overpowered, he sobbed in maud- 
lin fury. 

"There I that'll do for you," observed the Captain, 
clapping a big hand over his prisoner's mouth. "Crazy 
tight, ain't he? Hold still, or, by the cverlastin' hook- 
blocks, I'll heave you overboard! Wherc'd he come 

"Must have come aboard when wc stopped at the 
wharf," replied Bradley. "He was dead set on tak- 
ing the lantern and going below after his oilskins and 

"Sooner trust a blind cripple with a lantern. Chuck 
his dunnage ashore to-morrer momin'. Now then," 
turning to Hammond, "will you walk to the dory or 
shall we carry you? Shut up 1 You've cussed enough." 

He led the way to the side, holding Sam by the coat 
collar. Bradley followed. 

"Oh I" exclaimed the skipper, stopping short. 
"Didn't shut that cabin door, did you. Brad? IVe 
left that blasted key somewheres, and if that spring 
lock's snapped shut we'll be in a mess. No ? Well, 
all right then." 

They got into the dory and Bradley took up the 
oars. Hearse sat on the bow thwart, while the Cap- 
tain reclined in the stem with Hammond, sprawling 



and muttering, between his knees. They had nearly 
reached the beach when Sam gave a sudden spring, 
and, with an oath, threw himself upon his enemy. 
Bradley fell badcward. The dory heeled until the 
water lipped the rail. 

"You would, would you?" grunted Captain Tit- 
comb. "There!" 

Seizing the struggling diver neck and crop, he 
whirled him bodily over the side. 

"Now, then," panted the Captain, "if you can't 
ride like a man — walk!" 

Sam went into the cold water with a tremendous 
splash. It was not deep and he floundered to his feet, 
but the shock sobered him a little. He waded to the 
shore. Turning, he stretched out an arm with a shak- 
ing forefinger at the end of it. His rage almost 
choked him. He tried twice before he managed to 
speak clearly. 

"I pay my debts," he gasped. "I pay my debts!" 

"I've heard diS'rent," remarked the Captain, drily. 
"But never mind, Sam ; it's a good habit." 

Hammond did not heed him. "I pay my debts," 
he repeated. "Do you hear that, Brad Nickerson? 
You doughface ! I've got your girl away from you 
already, and that isn't the end. I pay my debts, and, 
by God, Brad Nickerson, I'll pay you I" 

He stood for an instant pointing at the dory. Then 
he stepped back into the darkness. They heard his 
footsteps crunching the broken clam-shells of the 

"Seems to love you like a brother, don't he. Brad?" 

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observed the Captain, as they were on their way up 
town. "I jedge from the drift of his entertainin' re- 
marks that he's decided to chuck up his job with Tit- 
comb and Nickerswi. Well, I cal'late he'll resign by 
'mutual consint,' as the Irishman did when him and 
his boss told each other to go to blazes at the same 
time. I met one of the Metropolitan men when I was 
up to Boston and he told me his folks fired Sam be- 
cause he went on a howlin' spree, so I guess this little 
shindy was bound to come sooner or later. Kept 
pretty straight afore sence he's been to home, though, 
ain't he ?" 

Bradley did not answer. 

Suddenly the Captain slapped his thigh. 

"Good land I" he exclaimed. "Brad, I've meant to 
tell you all day, and fot^ot it : The Diving Bellas in- 
sured. I went down to Obed's after I left your house 
last night and we fixed it up. Five thousand dollars, 
and it went on at noon to-day — leastways, I s'pose it 
did. He was to telephone the insurance folks this 

"Good! I'm glad that's settled. It has worried 
mc to think we weren't protected at all." 

"Well, I told you I'd do it, didn't I ? The only 
hitch was about that dynamite. But I fixed that. Give 
Obcd to understand we'd took it ashore. We have — 
all but. I spoke to Peleg and he'll have it off in a day 
or so." 

Bradley stopped short. "You don't mean to tell 
me it hasn't sfine yet?" he exclaimed. "Why! if any- 
thing should happen to the schooner with that stu/t 



aboard the policy wouldn't hold for a minute. I've a 
good mind to go back now and take it off myself." 

"Oh, dtm't be an old woman !" cried the Captain, 
testily. "What do you think's goin' to happen ? Til 
see to it to-morrow. Come on home !" 

The junior partner did not press the subject, but h< 
made up his mind that If he lived until the next morn- 
ing that dynamite should go ashore the minute the 
Diving Belle reached the Point. 

At the gate of the Traveller's Rest they separated. 
"Coming 'round to the house by and by, Cap'n?" 
asked Bradley. 

The Captain's manner changed. "I don't know," 
be answered, gloomily. *T presume likely I may." 

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THERE was a mystery about the Captain's 
visits to the big house. Up to the begin- 
ning of that week he had called on Tues- 
day and Friday evenings only, and had remained 
uQtil after ten o'clock, joking, laughing and appar- 
ently enjoying himself. But now he came every night 
and seemed less talkative and more glum each time. 
Also his calls grew shorter and he went home as early 
as half-past eight. The sisters did not know what to 
make of it. It was pleasant and encouraging to have 
him come so often, but why didn't he stay longer? 




Miss Tempy thought he must be woiT]nng over the 
big contract. 

She aslced Clara for her opinion, but Miss Hopkins 
seemed very indifferent. She used to come into the 
sitting-room as soon as the work was done to listen to 
Captain Titcomb's stories, but of late she had gone 
straight to her own room. The "old maids'* did not 
urge her to remain; they liked to have the Captain to 

On the afternoon of the previous Sunday Miss 
Tempy had taken a sudden notion to go over to the 
Methodist Chapel and attend the Sabbath School con- 
cert. The Chapel was cm the road to Orham Port, a 
mile or more from the Allen home. Miss Prissy was 
not str(Hig enough to go, and, in fact, thought tbe 
walk too long for her delicate sister, but Miss Tempy, 
having made up her mind, went. She would have 
been glad of Clara's company, but the young lady had 
already gone out. 

Miss Tempy had just reached the comer when she 
was surprised to see Captain Titcomb driving toward 
her in a buggy. She rei;«^nized the horse and car- 
riage as being the best owned by Lem Mullett, the 
livery stable keeper. Also she noticed that the Cap- 
tain \ocked particularly well-dressed, spruced up, she 
told Miss Prissy afterwards. 

"Cap'n I" she called. "Cap'n Ezra I" 

The Captain was then almost directly opposite, but 
he did not seem to hear or see her. Instead he 
whipped up the horse and drove by faster than ever. 

"Dear mel'* thought Miss Tempy. "He must be 

I ,z,;i.,C00gIC 


gittin' absent-minded — workin* too hard, I guess. 
Cap'n Ez — ral" 

It is doubtful if the Captain would have heard - 
even then, but Jonadab Wixon was coming down the 
road, and he also began to shout. Hailed thus, fore 
and aft, the absent-minded one was obliged to heave 
to, and, when Captain Jonadab pointed out Miss ' 
Tempy, he turned his horse and drove back to where 
she was standing. 

"Well, I do declare I" exclaimed the lady, smilingly 
conscious of a becoming new bonnet — one of the rea- 
sons for her desire to attend the concert, "I'm all out ' 
of breath callin' after you. I don't know what folks . 

The Captain didn't appear to care very much what 
folks might think. He was polite as usual, but seem- 
ed to be a trifle nervous and kept glancing up and 
down the road. Miss Tempy, unconscious of the ner- 
vousness, went gushingly on. 

"What a lovely horse!" she cried. "I declare 
it must be a pleasure to ride behind him. I 
do so like to ride with a nice, gentle horse like 
that. Father used to take Prissy and me drivm' 
with our Dexter when he was alive — father was 
alive, I mean — yes, and the horse, too, of course. 
I hope 1 haven't kept you. Was you goin' to see 

"No, no," was the hasty answer. "I was jest — 
jest drivin' down the road a ways." Then, perhaps 
noticing that his friend was headed toward the vil- 
lage, he added: "I had a little errand down towards 



the Port. You're goin' uptown, I see, else I'd ask 
you to jump in." 

"Why, how lovely," exclaimed Mis3 Tcmpy. "I 
was goin' to the Port, too; down to the Methodist 
folks' concert. I only came this way 'cause I thought 
I'd stop at Mrs. Wingate's and see if she wouldn't go 
with me. Prissy was afraid the walk there and back 
would be too long for me, and, truth to tell, I was a 
little afraid of it myself. I didn't expect to ride, and 
with you, Cap'n Ezra I It'll be such a treat, because 
I shall feel perfectly safe with you drivin'." 

The Captain did not answer immediately. He was 
busy with the buckle that fastened the reins together. 
But the silence was only momentary. 

"Good enough!" he cried. "I'll have you there in 
a jiffy." 

He sprang out, assisted the lady into the buggy, 
and then turned the horse's head into the road lead- 
ing up the hill. 

"Why, you're goin* the wrong way," Miss Tempy 
exclaimed. "You're goin' the wrong way, Cap'n 

"Oh I" replied the Captain, cheerfully, "that's all 
right. I thought we'd go 'round by the Neck road. 
It's prettier that way." 

But Miss Tempy would not consent. She told Miss 
Prissy afterwards, "I felt as though I'd the same as 
begged him for a ride as it was, and I swan if I 
was goin' to let him go miles out of his way jest for 

"No," she protested. "No, Cap'n, I won't hear of 



it. We'll go the shortest road or I shall git right 

She stood up as she said tt. The Captain looked 
at her determined face. 

"Why, Tempy " he began. 

"No, I shan't like it a bit, Cap'n Titcomb, If you 
don't turn right 'round and go the way you was 

The Captain jerked at the rein with almost un- 
necessary vigor. The turn was made in a hurry. 
They wheeled back into the direct road to the Port 
and moved swiftly along it. Captain Titcomb did not 
say much, but as Miss Tempy talked continuously he 
had little opportunity. 

"How nice the horse does go I" cranmented the 
lady. "You don't have to cluck to him nor nothin'. 
Father used to find so much fault with our Dexter; 
said he had to shove on the reins so hard to make him 
navigate at all that he didn't know's 'twouldn't be 
easier to haul the carryall himself. But then, father 
was so high-spirited that nothin' less'n a race horse 
would do him. Who's that waitin' on the comer in 
front of Gains Eldredgc's? Why, I do b'lieve it's 
Clara I" 

Captain Titcomb evidently did not see Miss Hop- 
kins, ^t all events he looked the other way and chir- 
ruped to the horse. But Miss Tempy not <Hiiy saw 
but intended to be seen. 

"It is Clara," she declared. "I must speak to her. 
Clara 1 Clara!" 

The young lady, who had been intently watching 



the approaching buggy, stepped to the edge of the 
sidewalk and waited until the equipage drew up. 
She was dressed in her new gown and jaclcet and cei 
tainly looked very pretty. She nodded to the Captain, 
whose face was redder than usual. 

"How d'ye do, Clara ?" said Miss Tempy, trying 
hard not to be patronizing. "I s'pose you're takin' a 
walk. You look reel nice. Where are you goin' ?" 

Miss Hopkins replied that she didn't know just 
where she should go. 

"Well, I hope you'll have a pleasant afternoon 
wherever you go," gushed Miss Tempy. "The Cap'n 
is takin' me for a little drive. Isn't this a beautiful 

Here the Captain made his first remark since the 
carriage stopped. It was to the eSect that he was 
taking Miss Tempy down to the Methodist Chapel, 
She had been going that way and It was a long walk. 

"Oh I" said Miss Hopkins, sweetly, "is that all? 
I thought perhaps you were going to take her over to 
Harniss. It seems as if I remembered you saying you 
expected to go there to-day. Good-bye. I hope you'll 
have a nice time." 

"Good-bye," said Miss Tempy. "You needn't 
hurry home on our account, Clara. Prissy's well 
enough to help me do the dishes to-night. Clara's a 
reel nice girl, isn't she?" she added, turning to Cap- 
tain Titcomb. "Do you know, I wonder that the 
hasn't got a young man by this time." 

The Captain's answer was a grunt and a crack of 
the whip that sent the buggy flying down the road in 



a cloud of dust. Miss Tetnpy began to fear she had 
made a mistake in calling her companion a perfectly 
safe driver. Certainly she had never in her life 
ridden as fast as she did for the next few minutes. 
They reached the little chapiel long before the concert 
began. There she bade her escort an effusive fare- 
well and went inside, but thoughts of the wondrous 
tale which she would tell Miss Prissy when she reach- 
ed home kept her from paying the proper attention 
to the recitations of the infant class, or even to Super- 
intendent Ellis' address, which began, "Now, little 
children," and ended with the pithy sentence, "The 
collection will next be gathered in." 

All through supper she talked of nothing but her 
*'loveIy long ritfc with Cap'n Ezra." She didn't mean 
to stray from the truth, but she couldn't help exag- 
gerating just a little, and a stranger might have been 
led to believe that the drive was arranged before- 
hand and that it lasted a good deal longer than it 
really did. 

On that evening Captain Titcomb made the first 
of the short calls which were to continue during the 
week. Miss Tempy welcomed him enthusiastically, 
and her sister did her best not to appear jealous. 
Clara did not come into the sitting-room at all, nor, 
as has been said, did she do so during the following 
four evenings. 

Bradley did not mention the trouble aboard the 
Diving Belle when he reached home Friday night. 
He was even more silent than usual at the supper 
table. When the meal was over he suddenly ex- 

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claimed, "By George ! Clara, I must beg your pardon. 
There was a letter for you in our box this morning 
and I left it aboard the schooner. I'll bring it home 

"From your mother, most likely, Oara," observed 
Miss Prissy. "How did you come to foi^et it, Brad- 
Icy? Your mem'ry's gen'rally so good." 

Captain Titcomb came about eight. He seemed 
really cheerful when he first arrived, but soon re- 
lapsed into the moody silence that had charaaerized 
his visits that week. 

"Clara out in the kitchen?" he asked, after a while. 
"I noticed the light was bumin'." 

"No," repHed Miss Tempy; "she's up in her room. 
She's left some bread to rise and I guess she's comin' 
down to see it by and by. That's why she left the 
lamp, I s'posc likely." 

As the big clock in the dining-room struck nine the 
Captain rose, announced that he must be going, and 

Bradley retired soon after, and the sisters followed 
his example. The old house grew still. Miss Prissy , 
was dropping into a comfortable doze when she felt 
herself clutched violently by the back hair. 

"Ow!" she exclaimed, half-awake. "Let go! What 
on earth " 

"S-s-sh-h!" Miss Tempy breathed it frantically 
into her ear. "Don't speak I" 

"I won't if you'll let go of my hair. What's the 
matter? Nightmare? I told you there was a limit, 
even to pepper tea." 



'•Oh, do be still I There's robbers downstairs. I 
hea.'J 'em I" 

"Robbers fiddlesticks ! Go to sleep I" 

"Prissy Alien, 1 b'licve you'd lay still if you was 
murdered in your bed, and " 

"Most likely 1 should. Where are they now — in 
the coal bin, same as last time?" 

"No, in the dinin'-room or the kitchen. Please call 
Bradley or 1 shall die; I know I shalll" 

Miss Prissy groaningly sat up and listened. "It's 
Clara seein' to her bread," she said, after a moment 

"It ain't. Clara's in her room, readin' ; I saw her 
through the crack in the door. And Bradley's in his 
room; I heafd him breathin'. Please git up I" 

Miss Prissy got up quicldy enough then. She, too, 
fancied she heard a faint sound in a room below. 
" 'Tain't burglars, whatever it is," she whispered. 
"They wouldn't come so early, and I don't know 
what they'd expect to find worth stealin' here any- 
how !" 

"Prissy Allen, how you talk I And our best teapot 
and the spoons hid right in the clock case 1" 

Miss Prissy said no more. She donned a wrapper 
and put on her slippers. Her sister was already simi- 
larly garbed. Then, Miss Prissy bearing the lamp, 
they tiptoed into the hall and on to the door of Brad- 
ley's room. 

"Bradley," cautiously whispered Miss Prissy; 
"Bradley, will you git up, please? Tempy thinks 
there's somebody downstairs." 

They heard Bradley chuckle sleepily. In a few 



moments he came out, dressed in jacket and trousers 
and blinking at the lamp. Clara, who had not gone 
to bed, had already joined them. 

The procession moved. Bradley first; then Misa 
Prissy with the lamp; then Miss Tempy, who, as she 
said afterwards, was "too scared to go ahead and 
dasn*t go last." Clara brought up the rear. They 
peered cautiously into the dining-room. It was 

"There I" exclaimed Miss Prissy; "I guess 'twas 
nothin' but Tcmpy's imagination, as usual. She " 

The words died on her lips. There came a sound 
from the kitchen — they all heard it — a rattling sound 
and the faint squeak of a door. 

Bradley sprang to the coal hod and picked up the 
poker. It was the only apology for a weapon in sight. 
He started for the kitchen, but Miss Prissy seized 
him by the jacket and Miss Tempy threw both arms 
around his neck. 

"Don't you stir, Bradley Nickcrson," whispered 
the older sister. "Don't you stir a step I S'pose he 
had a revolver." 

"Yes, or a dagger," gasped the trembling Miss 
Tempy, whose ideas of robbers were derived mainly 
from her novels. "If you go near that kitchen I shall' 
drop right in my tracks. Oh, Bradley, please, for our 
sakes I" 

Bradley tried to free himself, but it was hard work. 
He unclasped Miss Tempy's arms from his neck, but 
she immediately seized him around the waist. It was 
a ridiculous situation. And suddenly he became aware 



of a cold wind blowing from the direction of the 
front hall. 

"Is that front door open?" he whispered. 

The horrified sisters turned to stare at the black 
tunnel of the hall. And then footfalls were heard on 
the walk — coming up the steps. Clara's voice became 
audible; she was speaking In agonized whispers. 
1 "Who " began Bradley. 

Clara appeared, clinging to the arm of Captain Eri 
Hedge. Captain Eri looked puzzled, but he grinned 
when he saw the tableau In the dining-room. 

He told the story the next morning to his mess- 
mates. Captain Perez and Captain Jerry, about as 
follows : 

"You see," he said, "I'd been up to lodge meetin' 
and stayed a little longer'n usual. I was comin' home 
by the short cut, and jest as I got abreast the old 
maids' house the front door bust open and somethin' 
comes prancin' down the walk flutterin' and fiappin' 
its arms like a hen tryin' to fly. Thinks I, 'Has that 
speritu'list camp-meetin' I went to last summer 
struck in?' You see, I couldn't imagme anything 
but a ghost havin' the spunk to use the old maids' 
front door. 

"But the critter swooped out of the gate and b»re 
down on me like a hawk on a June-bug. Then I see 
' 'twas Clara Hopkins, scart pretty nigh to death. 

" 'Oh, Cap'n Eri I' says she. 'Oh, Cap'n Eri 1* 

" 'The same,' says I. 'What's the row ?' 

" 'Burglars 1* says she, makin' fast to my arm ; *bui> 
gtars I* 

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"I had to laugh. I couldn't help it. 'Bur- 
glars at ten o'dodt!' I says. 'Did they come to 

" 'But they're there!' she says. 'Everybody heard 
'em; Bradley and all.' 

"I couldn't b'lieve 'twas barglars even then, but I 
knew if Brad Nickerson took any stock in it somethin' 
was up. And the poor girl was tremblin' like Peleg 
Myrick's pup. 

" 'All right, Clara,' says I. 'Let's go in and shake 
hands with 'em.* 

"So in we went. When we struck the dinin'-room 
there was Brad in the middle of the floor, lookin' 
pretty toler'ble foolish, with Prissy moored to his 
coat-tails and Tempy with a clove hitch 'round his 
waist. All hands lodked s'prised to see me, but no 
morc'n I was to see them. 'What is this?' says I. 
'Livin' statues?' 

"The old maids cast loose from Brad then and be- 
gun on me. 

*' 'It's burglars,' says Prissy. 

" 'In the kitchen ' says Tempy. 

*' 'And Bradley was goin' right in there ' 

" 'At the risk of his life. And ' 

" 'And, oh I we're so glad you've come, 'cause ' 

" 'Hold on a minute I' I says, holdin* up both 
hands. 'If this is a talkin' race, let's start even. 
What's the row. Brad?' 

"Brad, he kind of grinned. 'Well,' says he ; 'the 
ladies thought they heard somecxie in the kitchen, but 
I guess ' 

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. " 'Thought we heard 'em I' busts out Priay. 'Why, 
you heard 'em yourself 1* 

" 'Yes,' squeals Tempy. 'And / heard 'em, and 
Clara heard 'em. And that's why you took the poker.' 

"And now Brad, he held up his hands, p(^er and 
all. 'All right I all right!' says he. 'Now that we're 
■ reinforced maybe we'd better go out and interview 
*em. They might die of old age if we stay here much 

"So he winked to me and the fleet got under way. 
Me and Brad led olif, like a couple of tugs, and the 
women folks strung out behind like coal barges, hdd- 
in' on to each other's wrappers, and breathin' hard. 

"We opened the kitchen door and sailed in — that 
is, Brad and I did. The coal barges got in a lump, 
so's to speak, in the doorway and stayed there. There 
was a lamp burnin' side of a pan of dough on the 
table, but, jest as I expected, we was the only humans 
in sight. 

" 'Looks's if the burglars had got tired of waitin* 
for us and got mad and gone home,' says I. 'Don't 
know what they broke into the kitchen for, anyhow. 
I've heard of a feller's stealin' a red-hot stove, 

but ' 

, "Brad looked puzzled, sort of. 'I sartinly heard 
somethin' movin' out here,' says he. 'Most likely 
'twas a stray cat, and it's hidin' 'round somewheres.' 

"But jest then comes a whistle — a squeal, I mean — - 
from the barges. Tempy's deadlights were poppin' 
out of her head, and she was p'intin' a shaky finger at 
the floor. There was big muddy footprints all over it. 



"Well, I own up I was set back two or three rows. 
Somebody had been there, that was sartin I've seen 
cats with double paws, but no cats made them prints. 
A camel with the gout might have done it, if it took 
pains and trod heavy. 

" 'Humph I' says I, and Brad agreed with me. 

" 'Humph r says I again. 'It looks ' 

"I was standin' right in front of the doof of the 
closet where the old maids kept their pots and pans. 
And jest then inside that closet bust out the most out- 
rageous racket ever you heard. "Biffityl bang I 
thump I* And then a coughin' and sneezin' like forty 
packs of thunder crackers. 

"I ain't a narvous man, gln'rally speakin', but I 
got up and moved sudden. I didn't exactly run, but I 
kind of glided over to the sink. Leastways I was 
backed up against it when I remembered to take an 
observation. The women grabbed each other and 
screeched. Brad, he turned sort of yeller 'round the 
gills, but he was the coolest one in the bunch. 

"The faangin' and barkin' and sneezin' in the closet 
kept right up to time. Whoever it was, he wasn't 
shirkin' his work none to speak of. 

" *Come out of that I' yells Brad, makin' a dive f<» 
the door. 

"Afore he could reach it that door flew open of 
itself. Out comes somethin' doubled up like a jack- 
knife. It kind of pawed the air with its flippers and 
dove head first for the sink. I give it all the room it 
needed ; didn't want to be selfish. 

" 'Hoo-rash-oo I" remarks the thing, as if it meant 



it, too. Then it shoved its head Into the water 

"The whole congregation was considcr'ble shook 
up. Nobody felt like risin' and addressin' the mourn- 
ers. The critter at the water bucket splashed and 
gurgled for a minute. Then it turned 'round. Its 
fhead and face was all streaks of red and brown and 
the water was drippin' off its chin. Who was it ? You'd 
never guess in a million years I 

"I swan to man tf it wan't Ez Titcomb! 

" 'Ohl it's the Cap'nf squeaked Tempy, and went 
down in a heap. 

*' 'Hoo-rash-oo !* says Cap'n Ez, sort of <^nin* the 

"'Weill' says I. 

" 'For heaven's sakesi' says Brad. 

"But Prissy stepped for'ard and took command. 
She didn't looked scared any more; only kind of queer 
'round the mouth and snappy 'round the eyes. 

" 'Cap'n Titcomb,' says she, 'if you please, what 
were you hidin' in that closet for? If you can stop 
sncezin' long enough to answer, I should like * 

" 'Sneeze !' hollers Ez, gittin' ready for another ex- 
plosion. 'Sneeze I' says he, kind of through his nose 
. and wavin' his hand desp'rate. 'I guess maybe you'd 
'sneeze if you'd upsot the spice-box right into your 
face'n eyes and had your moustache full of red pep- 
per I' 

"Seemed a likely sort of guess, when you come to 
think of it, but Prissy didn't pay no attention. 

" 'Why was you hid in that closet?' says she. 

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"Well, sir I that was the fust time in my life that I 
ever see Ez Titcomb clean out of soundin's. I snum I 
you could see he didn't know what to say, and when 
Ez gits that way things must be consider'ble mussed 
up. He fidgetted, and stuttered, and picked at his 
watch chain. 

" 'Prissy -' says he, and then he stopped. 

'Prissy' -' he says again, and shut up like a clam. 

'Prissy ' 

" "Well?* says Prissy, in a sort of vinegar-on-Ice 

" 'Prissy ' says Ez. He looked at her and at 

Tempy and at Brad. As for Brad, there was a twin- 
kle in his eye. Honest, he locked almost as if he wa9 
havin' consider'ble fun out of the show. 

" 'Prissy * sa^ Ez once more. Then he let 

everything go with a run, and hollers, 'Oh, thunder 1 
what's the use? Clara, you know what I come here 
for. Why don't you tell 'em and be done with it ?' 

"Course we all looked at Clara then. She blushed 
up pretty red, but she answered prompt. 

" 'I s'pose you come here to see me,* says she, 
'though why you should hide I don't see.' 

" ' 'Cause I couldn't see you no other way: that's 
why I I've tried hard enough to speak with you for 
the last week, but you've cleared out every night 'fore 
I got the chance. I thought if I waited till you come 
to fix the bread, I'd be here and you'd have to see me 
and hear what I had to say. So I come in the back 
door and waited. Then I heard Prissy speak in the 
dinin'-room and — well, I got rattled and hid In thaf 

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da — that everlastin* closet. That's the whole fool 
yam! There I' 

"Prissy looked as if she was goin' to say somethin*, 
but Clara cut in ahead of her. 'Yes,' says she; 'but 
what you haven't explained are your actions last Sun- 
day. When a man asks the lady he's engaged to to 
go out drivin' with him, and then calmly ups and takes 
somebody else, why ^ 

" 'I wrote you how it happened,' says Ez, pleadin* 

" 'I never got the letter,' says Clara. 

" 'One minute, if you please,' breaks in Prissy, 
calm but chilly, like a January momin'. 'Let's under- 
stand this thing. Cap'n Titcomb, are you and Clara 
engaged to be married?' 

"Ez swallered once or twice and looked 'round as 
if he was hopin' somebody's heave a life-line. But 
nobody did. Then he shoves his Bsts in his pockets, 
and says, 'Why, yes; we — ^we are.' 

" 'Well, I never I' says Prissy. 

"I didn't say nothin', neither did Brad, but I cal'- 
latc we both looked s'prised. Tempy, who'd been 
scttin' on the floor ever sence Ez was materialized — 
like one of the camp-meetin' sperits — out of that 
closet, spoke up as if she was talkln' in her sleep, and 
says she, 'And it was Clara he was comin' to see all 
this time !' 

" 'Well !' says Prissy. 'Well, I must say, Cap'n 
Titcomb, that I think it would have been more manly 
if you'd come and seen Clara, instead of spcndin' your 
cvenin's with us, and lettin' us think ' 



" 'Come and see her I' belters Ez. 'Didn't I try 
and crane to see her? But every time I got to the 
kitchen door you or Tempy'd take me in tow and head 
for the «ettin'-room. I swan to man I ain't had a 
chance to breathe, you watched mc so I' 

"Tempy started to say swntthin', but Prissy was 
skipper jest then. 'Dtm't say any more, Tempy,' she 
seys. 'Now that we know the Cap'n is goin' to marry 

our ' I guess she was goin' to say servant, but 

didn't hardly dast to — 'our young lady friend,' says 
she, 'we'll treat him as her comp'ny, not ours. Come, 
we ain't wanted here.' 

"And, helpin' Tempy up, she todc her by the arm 
and sailed out, all canvas sot and colors flyin'. 

"Ez, he looked consider'ble like the feller that 
stole the hen's eggs and forgot and set down on 'em. 

"Brad didn't speak. He jest looked sort of mourn- 
ful at the partner and shook his head slow. I ain't a 
mind reader, but I'll bet he was thinkin', same as I 
was, that, for a chap who had the name of bein' the 
slickest kind of a ladies' man, Ez Titcomb sartinly 
had upset the calabash this time. 

"And we went out and left him alone with his best 

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t9*V^P^ELL, Clara," observed Captain Tlt- 
«fvf comb, a few hours later, standing on 
• * the step by the back door and button- 
ing his peajacket, "I s'pose It had to come out some- 
time, but I did hope 'twould come more soothin' like, 
as the feller said to the dentist. The thing that wor- 
ried me most of all — always exceptin' your glvin' me 
the mitten, as Pd begun to think you had — was how 
we was goin' to break it to the old maids. And now 
it's kind of broke itself, as you might say." 

Clara, standing in the doorway, with a shawl about 
her shoulders, smiled, but shook her head. "Yes," 

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she said, "I should say it had. I guess the best thing 
I can do is to move back home right away. They'll 
never forgive me for letting you fall in love with me, 
Ezra ; never in the world." 

"Oh! I don't know," replied the Captain, hope- 
fully. "That's where Brad'll help out. He can do 
more than anybody else to square you and me with 
Prissy and Tempy. Land of level Is that one 

"Yes, it is. You must be going right away. I'd 
no idea 'twas so late." 

"Nor I neither. Seemed so good to have you to 
myself for a little while, without havin' to dodge any- 
body, that I've jest enjoyed it, even if I did have to 
swaller a pound of pepper aforehand." 

The quarrel — or misunderstanding, rather — had 
been made up. They had been saying good night 
ever since. 

"Cleared off fine, ain't it?" remarked Captain 
Ezra, looking at the sky. 

The fog had entirely disappeared and it was a 
clear, cold November night. The heavens were spat- 
tered thick with stars, and the horizon line was dotted 
here and there with the sparks of lighthouses and 
lightships. Sleeping Orham lay still, and the surf 
hummed a restful lullaby. 

"What was that?" asked Clara, pointing. 

"What was what?" 

"I thought I saw a queer light out on the water 
there. Yes ! See I there it is again I" 

The Captain put up his hand to shade his eyes from 

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the rays of the lamp in the kitchen and looked in the 
direction she was pointing. Out beyond the strip of 
water at the foot of the long hill behind the house, 
beyond the point that divided it from the harbor, a 
speck of light glowed for an instant, flickered and 
went out. 

"That's queer," he muttered. "That's off in the 
harbor, right by our moorin's." 

The speck of light reappeared, grew larger, puffed 
for an instant into a ruddy Same that lit up the masts 
and hull of a schooner lying at anchor. 

"Lord A'mightyl" yelled Captain Titcomb. "It's 
the Diving Belle on fire I" 

And from the darloiess in the direction of the dis- 
tant wharf came a faint shout — then another. 

The Captain plunged headlong for the back fence. 
"Call Brad !" he shouted. "Quick 1" 

Clara ran screaming into the house, and her com- 
panion vaulted the fence and dashed down the hill. 
The dead grass beneath his feet was wet and slippery. 
Blackberry vines caught him about the ankles and 
tangled clumps of bayberry bashes tore his clothes as 
he scrambled through them. Once he fell head-first 
into a sandpit, but the sand was soft and he was not 
hurt. The Diving Belle was on fire! The Diving 
Belle was burning up I His brain repeated it over 
and over again. Then came the thought of what her 
loss would mean to Bradley and himself, and he 
groaned aloud. 

He reached the foot of the hill and ploughed 
through the soft sand of the beach. The tide was low 



•nd he ran across the flats, splashing to his knees in 
the channels. As he climbed the bank by the bridge 
he heard someone running before him over the loose 

He crossed the bridge and panted up the second 
hill. As he reached its top the wind from the sea 
struck cold on his sweating forehead, and brought to 
his ears the sound of shouting. There were lights 
in the upper windows of the houses he passed. 
J<wiadab Wixon thrust a tousled head from the win- 
dow of his bedroom and hailed, asking what was the 

Captain Tltcomb could see the cluster of buildings 
at the landing plainly now, and the masts of the cat- 
boats alcKigside the wharf. The water of the harbor 
was black, except in one spot. There the Diving Belle 
lay in a flickering halo of red light. Little jets of 
flame were shooting up irom her hull amidships. The 
smell of burning wood came on the wind. 

Lem Mullett, the livery stable keeper, was just 
ahead, pufGng and stumbling in the middle of the 
narrow road. He seized the Captain by the arm as 
the latter overtook him. 

"How'd — how'd — she git — afire?" he gasped. 

Captain Titcomb did not answer. His eyes were 
fixed on the burning schooner, and he pushed Mr. 
Mullett out of the way and ran on. 

Just as he reached the bend by Newcomb's fish- 
house, a huddle of men, some with overcoats and hats, 
and others bareheaded and half-<iressed, rushed wild- 
ly around the corner of the building. The Captain's 



shoulder struck the foremost man a blow in the chest 
that knocked him backwards. 

"Ugh! Owl" grunted the man. Then he cried, 
"Hey? Is that you Cap'n Ez?" 

The Captain was fighting his way through. "Let 
me by," he shouted. "Git out of my way I" 

Some obeyed, but others did not. There were con- 
fused cries of "Stop him I Don't let him go I" He 
was seized by the ann. The crowd closed about him. 

"Don't let me go!" roared the Captain, striking 
right and left. "Who'll stop me? Are you crazy? 

Parker, by thunder, I'll Alvin Bearse, take your 

hands off me I" 

But Alvin held tight. "Cap'n Ez," he pleaded; 
"listen 1 listen jest a minute I You mustn't go off to 
her. Ira, hold his other arm." 

Overpowered and held fast, the bewildered Cap- 
tain gazed at the faces surrounding him. "For the 
Lord's sake I" he cried. "You cowards I Are you 
goin' to let her bum up without liftin' a hand? What 
are you standin' here for? Why ain't you aboard 
your ship, Alvin Bearse? Did you set her afire your- 
self? Xjet me go, or I'll " 

He struggled frantically. "Cap'n Ez," pleaded 
Alvin. "Listen to me. The dynamite's aboard I The 

Captain Titcomb stopped strolling. The dyna- 
mite in the hold I He had forgotten it entirely. That 
was why no boats had put out to the burning vessel. 
That was what they were running away from. 

" 'Tain't safe to stay here I" shouted someone from 



the outskirts of the rapidly growing crowd. "We'll 
be blowcd to slivers when she goes off. Git back to 
the hill." 

"Bluey Bachcldor," yelled the Captain, "you're a 
coward and always was. But ain't there no men in 
this gang? Bcarse! Sparrow I Ellis 1 Are you 
goin' to stand by and see me and Brad ruined ? Who'll 
come with me and pitch the stuff overboard? We'll 
save her yit I Come on I" 

They were wavering, stnne of them. Bearse was a 
brave man — so was Ellis. The two looked at each 

"Come on, boysl" shouted the Captain, getting one 
arm free and waving it. Thwi, as a new thought 
struck him, "What's the matter with you ? Dynamite 
don't blow up in a lire ; it bums like cord-wood. Come 
on, you fools!" 

They might have followed him then, but Captain 
Edward Taylor came up. A man of experience along- 
fhore, and one of the town's Selectmen, his words car- 
ried weight. "Don't let him stir," he commanded. 
"Dynamite, boxed in as he's got it in that hold, is sure 
to explode, and he knows it. The least shock'Il do it, 
if the fire doesn't. Come back to the hill. Ez, you'll 
have to go with us." 

That settled It. Fighting, pleading, swearing. Cap- 
tain Titcomb was carried by main force along the 
road toward the hill by the bridge. Long tongues of 
flame were spouting from the Diving Belle's main 
hatch. Up in the village the schoolhouse bell was 



"Don't let anybody go near the wharf," ordered 

Captain Taylor. "Warn 'em as fast as What's 


There was a scuffle in the road below. Two or 
three shouts. The sound of running feet. 

Ira Sparrow rushed up the hill. His voice trem- 

"He's got through I Wc didn't see him in time I" 
he panted. 

"Who ?" asked several voices. 

"Brad Nickerson. I'm afraid he's goin' ?ff to the 
schooner !" 

Captain Titcomb gave a spring that almost cleared 
him. The tears came into his eyes. 

"For the Lord's«ake !" he begged. "Arc you goin* 
to let that boy kill himself?" Then, bending forward, 
he shouted, "Brad I Brad ! don't go nigh her for your 
life I The dynamite's aboard !" 

The crowd was still. Everyone listened. There 
was no reply, but they heard the rattle of "^ars in a 
dory's rowlocks. 

When Bradley came out of the kitchen, after the 
"burglar" had made his confession, he shook hands 
with Captain Eri, bade the latter a laughing good 
night, and went up to his chamber. It was a long 
time before he fell asleep. He heard a steady hum 
of conversation from the "old maids' " room and 
knew the sisters were going over the astonishing 
events of the evening. Once Miss Tcmpy cam* to 
his door to ask in a whisper if he knew just how old 

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Captain Titccwnb was. *'OhI about forty-eight or 
fifty," he answered, smiling to himself. 

He had fallen into a dose and was dreaming a con- 
fused medley in which the sisters and he were chasing 
Sam Hammond from one rocnn to another, while Gus 
locked the doors in front of them, when Clara's 
scream of "Firel" rang through the house. He sat 
up in. bed, not sure whether the cry was real or a part 
of the dream. 

But the next moment be heard footsteps on the 
stairs. "Firel" screamed Clara, rushing through the 
hall. "Oh, Brad ! get up quick I The Diving Bellas 
all on fire I" 

He was cool, surprisingly cool, as it seemed to him 
when he thought of it afterwards. His first move was 
to run to the window, open it and lean out. At first 
he saw nothing but the black night, the stars and the 
lights on the horizon. He noticed, too, how salty 
sweet the wind smelt, as it blew from the flats at the 
foot of the hill. Then he saw the pufi of flame on 
the schooner in the harbor. 

Barefooted, bareheaded, dressed only in his trous- 
ers and shirt, but struggling into his jacket as he ran, 
he sprang down the stairs. The sisters caught at his 
arm and cried something or other, but he did not heed 
them. Clara called after him that Captain Titcomb 
had gone to the schotmer. He stopped for an Instant 
to ask her to rouse some of the neighbors and send 
them to the wharf. As he came out into the yard he 
noticed vaguely that there was a light in one of the 
rooms of the Baker cottage. 

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He took the same route that his partner had taken, 
but made better time. It was evident that the fire had 
been seen by others, for, as he crossed the bridge the 
schoolhouse bell began to ring. It came to him like a 
flash, but too late, that he might have saved half the 
distance by taking one of the skiffs in the inlet and 
rowing straight out past the point. 

There was a shouting crowd on the hill above the 
bridge, but he could see no boats about the Diving 
Belle, and wondered why. Part of the crowd on the 
hill came rumilng to meet him. 

"Who's that ?" shouted someone — Ira Sparrow, he 

Bradley did not answer. "Who is it?" cried Ira 
again. "Stopl" 

The junior partner did not stop. "Squealer" Wixon 
got in his way and caught at his jacket. Bradley 
tripped him up, jumped the rail fence by the roadside 
and ran across the fields. He heard "Squealer" shout- 
ing his name. 

The wharf was empty. Not a man was there. He 
reached the strtngpiece, caught at the painter of one 
of the dories almgside, and, pulling the boat toward 
him, jumped in. Luckily the oars were lying on the 
thwarts. He picked them up, and, with his knife, cut 
the painter. 

And then he heard the Captain's voice, calling to 
him from the hill, "Brad ! Brad ! don't go nigh her 
for your life! The dynamite's aboard I" 

Like his partner, Bradley had foi^otten the dyna- 
mite. Mechanically he put the oars in the rowlocks 

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and sat motionless. The Captain had stopped shout- 
ing. It was very still. He heard the bell ringing in 
the distance and the gurgle of the tide amongst the 
piles under the wharf. A whiff of smoke from the 
Diving Belle blew across his face, and he turned and 
looked at the schooner. 

He remembered reading in the Boston Herald, a 
month or so before, of a wrecking vessel that had 
caught on fire off Long Island somewhere. She, too, 
had dynamite on board and her skipper and the mate 
had saved her by throwing the explosive overboard. 
But they were on deck when the fire started. He 
looked at his own vessel, the schooner that he and the 
Captain had longed for and worked for, and petted 
like a baby. Then he set his teeth and began rowing. 

The crackle of burning timber was plain as he 
scrambled over the Diving Bellas rail. The flames 
were pouring up from under the covering of the main 
hatch and the smoke was rolling thick from the cabin 
companion. He would have given anything for an 
ax, but the only one on board was by the woodbox in 
the galley below. He caught up the boathook that 
was in its rack by the bulwark and ran to the hatch. 

He put the point of the hook under the heavy cover 
and began prying the latter loose. It gave a little, 
slipped back, and then pulled over the cleats. With 
the hook he got a Hrm grip upon its edge and turned 
it over with a clatter. The smoke belched up in a 
cloud, but as it cleared he fell upon his knees and 
peered below. 

The fire was almost amidships, amtmg some loose 



planks and an empty tar barrel. These were burning 
fiercely and the beams of the deck were blazing above 
them. But the dynamite chest was further forward, 
beyond the bulkhead, which was only beginning to 
bum, and he could see there was just a chance of 
reaching it if he was quick. With the dynamite once 
out of the way, help from the shore might save the 
schooner. He drew a long breath and put his hands 
CHI the edges of the hatch. 

Then he heard a faint voice calling for help. 

He thought for a moment that he must be going 
crazy. But the voice called again. "Help I" it wailed. 
"Somebody help I" 

Bradley jumped to his feet and ran aft. The door 
at the head of the cabin stairs had been left open when 
the partners went home the previous night, but Brad- 
ley had pulled the sliding hatch shut. Now the hatch 
was pushed back as far as it would go and the door 
was shut tight. 

"Who is it?" shouted Bradley, stooping to the 
opening between the top of the door and the hatch. 
The dense smoke in his face made him cough. 

"Help!" the voice came up through the smoke. 
"It's me — ^Hammond." 

The junior partner started back. "Hammond?" 
he repeated. "Hammond!" And then, in a changed 
voice, "What are you doing aboard here ?" 

"I came after my things. I forgot about the spring 
lock. Quick 1 Oh, quick I" 

"Came after your things ! You lie ! You came to 
set this fire I" 



There was no reply for a moment. Only a gasp- 
ing, choking sound in the smoke. Then the voice be- 
gan again. "Let me out [" it screamed. "I'm dying ! 
Brad Nickcrson, you want to murder mel Damn 
you, let me out I Oh, please, Brad I for God's sake, 

Bradley stood upright and looked about him. His 
beloved schooner or the sneaking enemy who had set 
her on fire, and who was responsible for all his trou- 
bles — which? To force that cabin door meant that 
the Barnes in the hold would have time to bum 

through the bulkhead and then He heaved a 

long sigh, and with that sigh he said good-bye to the 
Diving Belle. He turned and rushed to the main 

The prisoner in the cabin heard him go, and 
screamed choking curses after him. But Bradley had 
gone only to get the boathook. He came back 
with it and began the attack upon the door. 
That door was built of tough wood, almost new, 
and the Captain's lock was new also. The boat- 
hook only tore off splinters and chips. Finally 
the hook broke just where the iron joined the 

Sam had ceased to yell and beg his rescuer to hurry. 
His cries changed to coughs and strangling moans. 
Then he was silent altogether. Bradley, desperate, 
threw down the broken boathook and ran about the 
deck, hunting, by the light of the fire, for something 
heavy, something that would break that lock. He 
picked up the stout beam, reinforced with iron, that 

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they slung over the vessel's forequarter when they 
hoisted heavy chains on board. 

It was so clumsy that he could scarcely carry It, but 
he stepped back by the wheel to get a start, and, run- 
ning forward, threw it against the door. The dou- 
ble oak panels cracked lengthwise. Three times he 
hurled the battering ram, with his own weight behind 
it. At the fourth attempt the door burst inward and 
he fell on his face. 

"Sam I" he shouted. "Sam I come on !" 

But Hammond did not answer. Shutting his eyes 
and holding his breath, Bradley descended the cabin 
stairs. Hammond was lying unconscious at their foot. 
The junior partner dragged him to the deck and away 
from the smoke. Then he shook and pounded him 
savagely. After a bit the fellow opened his eyes and 

Then Bradley left him and ran to the main hatch. 
One glance showed him that the schooner was doom- 
ed and that the dynamite might explode at any mo- 
ment. The thin bulkhead was a wall of flame and 
was shaking like a sheet of paper in the Herce 
draught. Black smoke, powdered with sparks, was 
vomiting from die fo'castle. The Diving Belle was 
on fire from stem to stem. 

Hammond yelled wildly from the after rail. "The 
dory's gone !" he shouted. "My dory's gone I Where's 

Bradley had not stopped to fasten the dory when 
he boarded the schooner, and the boat had drifted 
away. Hammond, half drunk when he left the wharf, 



had bungled the knot with which bis dory was fast* 
cned, and that, too, was gone. 

"We'll have to swim," cried Bradley. "Jump 
quick I She's going to blow up I" 

Sam sobbed in sheer terror. "I can't make it," he 
screamed. "I'm too weak. I'll drown." 

"You've got to make it. Jump I I'll keep close 
behind you." 

Hammond caught at a shroud, stepped upon the 
bulwark, and stood there, turning a white face first 
toward the shore, and then back at his companion. 
There was a muffled rumble from the hold. The bulk- 
iiead had fallen. 

"Jump I" shouted Bradley. "Jump I" 

Sam threw up his arms and leaped from the stem. 
Bradley cast one glance over the poor Diving Belle, 
ran to the rail by the foremast and dove into the 

At that moment, before his head appeared above 
the surface, there came a dull roar from the schooner's 
hold. She rocked like a rowboat among breakers. A 
flame burst from her hatches and fo*castle and 
streamed to the top of her foremast, every rope oi 
which caught fire. Her entire bow was a great torch 
that dipped, now this way, now that. 

Hammond, swimming for his life, yelled with 
fright. Bradley, caught in the waves made by the 
rocking of the Diving Belle, was, for a moment, un- 
able to make any headway. Va^cly he wondered 
why he had not been killed. And then the foremast 
swung above his head and the heavy hoisting block in 

by Google 


the forerigging snapped from its burning tackle, shot 
out into the air and fell, striking him on the forehead. 
He remembered almost nothing of what happened 
after that; nothing except fighting to keep afloat, and 
the intense cold of the water. 

Captain Titcomb cwi the hill had fought and strug- 
gled, and pleaded to be allowed to go to his partner's 
aid. But Captain Taylor said, "Better erne than two," 
and most of the others agreed with him. "Squealer" 
Wixon was going through the crowd, telling all who 
would listen that if he had not had some fellows at 
his house, "settin' up" playing cards, the fire would 
not have been discovered. As the blaze grew brighter 
and Bradley could be seen running about the 
schooner's deck, Alvin Bearse volunteered to go with 
his skipper and attempt a rescue, but they would not 
let him try. In whispers people were asking one an- 
other how long It would last. Every now and then 
they called to Bradley, telling him to come ashore. 

When Hammond appeared on deck there was a 
great commotion. No one knew who it was. But 
when he stood upon the rail, with the fire behind him, 
a dozen shouted his name. Captain Titcomb shouted 
it, and swore. A moment later came the explosion. 

Fifty men started for the wharf then, but the Cap- 
tain was far in the lead. He leaped Into a dory and 
pushed oS. The harbor was almost as light as day. 
In the centre of the light the two figures in the water 
were splashing silhouettes. 

And suddenly the Captain, rowing frantically, was 

by Google 


aware that another boat was nearer the sdiooner than 
his own. A small dtifi, rowed by a bareheaded girl, 
had come from behind the point and was speeding, 
with long, sure strokes, toward the swimmers. 

Hammond saw it. "Help I" he shouted, waving 
one arm. "Help I I'm drowning! Save mcl" 

The skiff was abnost upon him. He reached out to 
grasp its side. But the rower, though she turned and 
looked directly into his face, did not stop. She kept 
straight on — past him — almost over him. 

And Captain Titcomb, as he seized Sam Hammond 
by the coat-collar, saw Gus Baker lean from her skiff 
and drag to its low gunwale the helpless form of 
Bradley Nickcrson. 

Then, with a hiss, and wrapped tn a great white 
robe of steam, the Diving Belle dove to the bottom of 

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"storm along, JOHN !" 

AT nine o'clock that morning Bradley, with his 
head bandaged, sat in the rocking chair by 
the window of his chamber, looking out. On 
the table beside him were medicine vials, teaspoons 
and a pencilled memorandum in Doctor Palmer's 
handwriting. Also there was an Emulsion bottle and 
a steaming pitcher of "pepper tea." These last were 
Miss Tempy's contributions. That lady herself, with 
a face whiter even than Bradley's own, and with fin- 
gers that sho<^ until holding a needle was next to an 




impossibility, was seated in a chair by the door, pre* 
tending to sew. Every now and then she looked up, 
seemed about to speak, and then, seeing the expression 
on the young man's face, remained silent. Occasion- 
ally she wiped her eyes with her handkerchief. 

Miss Prissy was downstairs in the sitting-room lis^ 
tening to the steady stream of conversation and ques- 
tions that flowed from the lips of Melissa Busteed. 
Miss Busteed had left her breakfast dishes unwashed, 
so that she might be the first to visit the Allen home. 

Clara rapped on the bedroom door. "Bradley," 
she said, "Cap'n Titcomb is downstairs. May He 
come up?" 

Miss Tempy spoke and with decision. "No, in- 
deed!" she exclaimed. "The Doctor said Bradley 
wasn't to see anybody. I should think the Cap*n 
would " 

She bit her lips and sewed vigorously. Bradley 
turned from the window. 

"Tell the Cap'n to come right up," he said. "Yea, 
Miss Tempy; I must sec him." 

Miss Tempy started to protest, but did not. In- 
stead she picked up her workbasket and rose. "Now, 

Bradley, please " she pleaded, with emotion, 

"don't talk about the — about your bus'ness and git 

over-excited. It's bad enough as it is without 

Good momin', Cap'n Titcomb." 

Her salutation was formal and very dignified. So 
also was her manner as she swept out of the room. 
The Captain said, "Good mornin'," in an absent- 
minded way. He looked pale and anxious and there 



were circles under his eyes. He went over and shook 
his partner's hand. Then he sat down heavily in Miss 
Tempy's chair. 

"Well, Cap'n," said Bradley, cheerfully, "I've been 
expecting you. I must look about as you did the 
morning after you butted into the Thomas Doan^y 

Captain Titcomb did not smile. "I've seen the 
Doctor," he observed. "He says you'll be all right in 
a couple of days. I'm glad of that much, anyhow.'* 

"I'm all right now. Little shaky, that's all." Then, 
after a pause, "Well?" 

His partner drew a long breath. "Well," he said, 
slowly, "I've dcme it this time, ain't I? I ought to 
hunt up Jabe Bailey and tell him I realize he bad me 
sired up 'bout right. Ez Titcomb, the blasted fool I'' 
He laughed bitterly. 

"I don't see that youVe done it any more dian I 
have," was Bradley's calm reply. 

"Yes, you do, too. You kept after me with a sharp 
stick 'bout that dynamite, and I, like the idiot I am, 
let it go. I've seen Obed this momin'. We don't git 
the insurance." 

"Of course not. I was sure of that." 

The Captain was silent. Then he struck the arm' 
of his chair and swore between his teeth. "I ain't a 
murderin' man, gin'rally speakin'," he muttered, "but 
I'd give ten years of my life to have my hand on that 
cuss Hammond's chicken neck jest about now." 

Bradley looked out of the window. "Where is he?" 
he asked. 



"Nobody knows. I cal'late he's skipped (he town. 
Good thing for him I But ve'Il land tUm yit, as socm 
as I can git the sheriff on his tracks." 

"Do people know he set the fire ?" 

"No, not for sartin. Some might suspect, I s'pose, 
but I ain't said nothin' to anybody yit. I will, though, 
you bet your life on that I" 

"No, you won't. I don't want you to." 

Captain Titcomb sat up straight. "Don't want me 
to?" he repeated. 

*'No. I ask you, as a favor to me, not to tell any- 
body. Let them guess whatever they please, but dcm't 
tell them the truth." 

The senior partner was dumb with astonishment. 
He looked curiously at his c(»npanion. "I — I s'pose 
likely you know who snaked you out of the wet last 
night ?" he asked, after a bit. 


Bradley knew that Gus had picked him up as he 
wallowed unconscious in the water. Clara had told 
him, and the Captain had told her when they brought 
the young man home. For a moment his heart had 
leaped with a great joy, but then he remembered that 
Hammond had been on the schooner, and in plain 
sight from the shore. Not for an instant did Bradley 
think that the girl knew for what purpose her lover 
had boarded the Diving Belle, but she had, no doubt,, 
seen him there, as had the others, and gone to his res- 
cue. He pitied her — ^when she should learn what sort 
of a man Hammcmd was, but he determined she 
should learn it from other lips than his. 



So be was silent, and Captain Titcomb did not men< 
tion the subject again. At length the latter said: 
"Well, Brad, there's no use of my asldn' you to for- 
give me, because it ain't a forgivin' kind of deal. I 
got you into this wreckin' game, and you did a blame 
sight more'n I did to make it grow. I was the crazy 
fool that took the contract that's goin' to bust us, and 
I took it in spite of your tellin' me not to. And now, 
all along of me, we've lost the schocmer, insurance and 
all. I don't care for myself, but I — I like you, Brad. 
Z never took to man nor boy as I've took to you. And, 
by crimus, when I think of how I've ruined you, I'm 
ready to go down to the dock and say, 'Here goes 
nothin',' and jump off. If it wan't for Clara, I cal'- 
late I would." 

"Don't talk that way, Cap'n Ez," began Bradley, 
but the Captain went on. 

"There's one thing, though," he said. "You shan't 
have none of the blame. I'll tell every man in this 
town that 'twas all me. I'll go up to Cook and Scm 
and let them know it, too. I'll work out the schooner 
debt for the bank folks, and I'll git you the best 
mate's job that I can. Of course, that dtm't make up 
for the wrong I've done you, but " 

"Cap'n Ez," interrupted Bradley, looking keenly 
at his partner, "why do you speak of getting me a 
mate's job ? Is it because you feel that, now the Div- 
ing Belle is gone, we can't carry through the con- 

The senior partner's answer was prompt enough, 
but he lodged at the fioor when he made it. "Can 



we carry it through?" he rejoined. "Maybe you don't 
understand how things are with us. What little money 
\/e've got on hand belongs to the folks that hold the 
mortgage on the schooner; we can't use it. We ain't 
got any vessel now, nor any craft with power, to help 
us out. We can't weather another pay-day unless 
somebody lends us more money, and who'd be I 
jackass enough to do that, even if I had 
the brass to ask for it? No, Brad; the best 
thing for you is to quit and git to sea again 
afore I sink you so deep you'll never come to the 

Bradley leaned back in his chair and smiled. 
"Cap'n," he said, "I see through you like a book. 
You talk of quitting because you don't want me to 
take any more chances. If you were alone in the deal 
you'd go ahead somehow." 

"No, I wouldn't." 

"Shut up! I know you. Now, listen : I know how 
we stand, but I say fight it out. Come on 1 we'll go 
down to the Point and work harder than ever, nights 
and Sundays and all. We'll keep a stiff upper lip, and, 
by the living jingo, we'll clear the Freedom or go to 
pieces with her!" 

The Captain sprang to his feet. "Do you mean 
that you'll stick to me in spite of what I've done?" 
he cried. 

"You ought to know I will. As for blame, it's as 
much mine as yours. Will you stick by me and keep 
up the fight?" 

"Willi? ^i//I? Brad— Brad, you know " 



He turned his face away, but he stretched out his' 
hand. Bradley seized and wrung it. 

"And now," said Bradley, "we'll go down to the 

"You're not goin' to the Point to-day/ Son, you've 
done more'n enough for me as 'tis; don't kill your- 

"Get my overcoat and hat. Pm going to the Point 

And he went in spite of his partner's protests and 
the "old maids' " pleadings and direful prophecies 
concerning his health. He was kind, but so firm that 
they soon saw there was no use arguing. Miss Prissy, 
however, at a great sacrifice to her pride, called the 
Captain to one side and whispered: 

"Cap'n Titcomb, I'm 'fraid he's goin' to his death. 
Take care of him and keep him out of danger. Don't 
let him git cold. If you knew how much store Tempy 
and me set by him, you'd " 

She could not finish. 

"I know. Prissy," replied the Captain, earnestly. 
"I cal'late I feel a little that way towards the boy 
myself. Brad seems to have took the bit in his teeth 
lately, but I'll bring him back safe or stay there my- 
self for good." 

Ira Sparrow took them to the Point in the You and 
I. Bearse, Ellis and some of the other men went with 
them. On the way Bradley and his partner discussed 
the situation. The work on the barge was going on 
as if nothing had happened, although the news of the 
firm's loss had been telephoned to the life-saving sta- 



tion early that morning. Barney Small met them as 
they climbed over the Freedom's rail. He was very 
sober and shook his employers' hands with silent sym- 

"I told the boys to turn to," he said. "I didn't 
know what your plans was, but I wan't gun' to quit 
till you said the word." 

"Much obliged, Barney," said Bradley. "Call all 
hands aft. I want to talk to them." 

The men came in groups, soot-streaked and per- 
spiring. They gathered in the waist, whispering to 
each other and glancing askance at Captain Titcomb 
and Bradley, who stood upon the raised dedc by the 
wheel. In most of the grimy, sunburned faces there 
was a friendly concern. All looked embarrassed and 
awkward. When the whole crew was standing there, 
silently waiting, the Captain came forward. 

"Men," he said, "there ain't any need for me to 
tell you what's happened. The Divin' Belle was 
burned last night, and she wan't insured. Most of 
you know what dut means to me and my partner. A 
good many of you are fellers I've known all my life. 
Some of you like me — some, maybe, don't. You know 
that ha'f of Orham is sayio' this momin' that Ez Tit- 
comb's got what was comin' to him at last. All right, 
the blame's mine and I'll take mv medicine without 
makin' any faces over it. I don't ask anything for 
myself. But I do ask you to listen to what this boy 
here," laying his hand on Bradlev's shoulder, "has 
got to say. That's all. Now, Brad." 

There was a stir throughout the crowd as Bradley 



stepped forward. He was silent for an instant, look- 
ing down at them. Then he spoke. 

"Fellows," he said, "when Cap'n Titcomb and I 
took the contract to get this barge oS the shoals we 
risked every dollar we had. More than that, we 
mortgaged our new schooner to raise money to pay 
you with. She was burned last night, and, as the 
Cap'n said, there is no insurance. The little money 
we have on hand belongs to the people who took the 
mortgage. We couldn't pay you for another week's 
work. So then, either we must give up the contract — 
which will ruin us and drive the firm out of the wreck- 
ing business for good — or we must come to you with 
another proposition. I think every man who has 
worked for us knows that we don't play favorites. 
Every fellow knows that he'll be treated fair so long 
as he does his work. But this I want to say — ^wc'U 
stick to those who stick by us. We shan't forget our 
friends. And this is our proposition : To the men 
who will volunteer to help us get this barge afloat, we 
will pay four dollars a day — instead of three, as 
you're getting now — when we float her and get our 
money. If we fail, you get nothing and so do we. 
If we win, you win. We can Boat her if the 
weather holds good. What I'm asking is that you 
share our chances. It's up to you. What do you 

Bradley stopped and put his hands in his pockets. 
The men shuflled their feet and looked at each other. 
One or two of them whispered behind their hands. 
Then Barney Small snatched his rusty cloth cap from 



his head, tossed it to the deck, and jumped upon it 
with both feet. 

"Stage is ready for Orham, South Orham, West 
Hamiss and Setuckit P'int," he shouted. "Git aboard I 
Come on, you lubbers [ Have me and Brad and Cap*n. 
Ez got to work her off alone?" ; 

Alvin Bearse struck the ex-stagc driver a resound- 
ing thump in the back. "You bet you ain't I" he cried. 
"I'm in I" 

"Me, too!" said Ira Sparrow. 

"Present and accounted for," observed Bill Tay- 
lor. Ellis simply nodded and stepped forward. Oth- 
ers joined them, by twos and threes. 

Then Peleg Myrick sauntered to the front. "I 
dunno's I jest understand what the boss wants," he 
drawled; "but if there's anything me and Skeezicks 
can do, why " 

There was a great shout of laughter. Peleg was 
indignant. "What's the matter with you?" he snort- 
ed. "That dog's got a dum sight more sense than 
most of them what makes fun of htm." 

"Right you be 1" bellowed Barney. "Come on, you 
loafers I Are you goin' to be beat by a Greaser pup — 
a bald one at that?" 

That settled it. There was a cheer, and the men ' 
began pushing each other out of the way to join the 
volunteers. In a few minutes there were only five 
who had not come forward. 

"What's the matter with you, Lon?" asked Alvin 
Bearse, sarcastically. "Be your feet asleep?" 

Mr. Clark looked uneasy, but he did not move. "I 



ain't used to workin* for nuthin'," he replied, sul- 

"Nor me nuther," agreed Ike Bodkin, standing by 
his friend. 

"Nothin' is about twice what you're wuth," cried 
Barney, indignantly. "By Judas, if you can't work 
you can swim ! I^t's give 'em a bath, fellers. They 
need it" 

He started for the frightened five. Others followed 
him. There were cries of "Chuck 'em overboard I" 
Bradley shouted, "Stop!" 

"IjCt them alone, boys," he commanded. "Clark, 
you and Ike and the rest, take one of those dories and 
make for the Point. Lively I Fellows," he added, 
turning to the others, "Cap'n T"itcomb and I are much 
obliged. Now, then, turn to 1" 

In five minutes the crowd had scattered, the engines 
were puffing, and the great buckets were emptying the 
coal from the Freedom's hold into the sea. 

"Son," said Captain Titcomb", laying a hand on his 
partner's arm, "they did that for you, not me. If we 
should win out on this job, the credit'Il belong to you. 
And now for it 1 It's neck or nothin' this time sure !" 

And after that came work, work, work. The men 
were organized into day and night gangs. Bradley 
commanded the former, Captain Titcomb the latter. 

The Freedom at night was a strange spectacle. 
I,antcms were hung all over her deck and within her 
hull. They sparkled in clusters by her hatches; they 
swung beside the tackles In the rigging. The life 



savers patrolling Setuckit beach heard, above the 
crash and boom of the surf along the shore, the roar 
of the falling coal and the shrill whistle of the dtmkey 
' engines. Looking down through the black squares 
of the hatchways, one saw active figures capering 
above with shovels in their hands. Shouts came 
up. Queer, distorted shadows Bickered, stretched to 
gigantic size, or shrunk to those of pudgy dwarfs. 
But the shadows were never still, never the same; 
they were always busy. 

The partners hired the You and I to do what she 
could of the work the Diving Belle had been engaged 
in. The lack of the schooner was a great handicap, 
but they had no funds with which to hire a large 

They made their headquarters aboard the barge 
now. Bradley did not go up to Orham at all. When 
his day's work was over, he ate a hasty supper and 
tumbled into a berth in the skipper's cabin, sometimes 
to sleep, but more often to lie awake and plan for the 
morrow. He was still pale and weak from the effects 
of the blow on the head, but he would not take it 
easy, as the Captain begged. The worry and strain 
of the labor were, in a sense, reliefs to him ; they kept 
him from thinking of other things. 

Each morning the "old maids" telephoned to the 
station to learn how he felt, and bow the work was 
progressing. Bradley gathered from Miss Prissy's 
anxious remarks that, in the village, the partners* 
failure was regarded as a foregone conclusion. The 
news made him only more determined to succeed. 



Cook and Sons wired daily, and every afternoon a 
report was sent to them. These reports were grow- 
ing more optimistic. The barge was eating her way 
steadily through the shoal, and as she was lightened 
she moved faster. They watched the cables as a cat 
watches a rat hole, keeping them always tight. The 
Captain said, "Brad, if I didn't know what was the 
matter, I should b'lieve my old Sunday-school teacher 
was right. He always swore I'd be hung some day, 
and now all I can dream about la ropes." 

The Captain's energy was s(»iiething wonderful. 
A nervous man by nature, he flew from one end of the 
Freedom to the other, commanding, helping, hurry- 
ing. With the men he was always cheerful and sure 
of success, but once in a while, alone with his partner, 
he showed his real feelings. One morning, before 
"turning in," he went ashore to telephone. When he 
came back he called Bradley aside and said : 

"Brad, Sam says the Gov'ment weather folks are 
foretellin' a big storm for day after to-morrer. It's 
comin' from the south and'll strike here about then. 
It's a terror, they say. It worries me. I'm more scart 
of a gale of wind jest now than I am of the Old 
Harry himself," 

The junior partner looked troubled. "Wonder if 
that's what's distressing Pcleg?" he observed. "Peleg 
has been after me ever since the fire. Says he's got 
something to tell me." 

"He's been pesterin' me, too. I ain't had no time 
to listen to his yams. Let's see him." 

They sent for the weather prophet, who appeared, 



dirtier than ever. "Look here, Peleg," was the Cap- 
tain's salutation. "What do we f«cd you for ? Here's 
the Gov'mcnt weather sharp smelUn' out a gale, and 
you ain't peeped. You'll have to put specs on your 
second sight, or we'll ship a new prophet, one or 

Mr. Myrick was troubled. "Now, Cap'n Ez," he 
protested, in an a^rieved tone, "ain't I been tryin' to 
git at you or Brad for four days or more? / know 
there was a blow comin'. She's comin' a-bilin', too. 
And I don't need no specs nuthcr." 

"Humph I Brad, this is the devil and all, ain't it? 
That'll do, Peleg." 

"But, Cap'n Ez, there's somethin' else I wanted to 
tell you. I " 

"Never mind now. Put it on ice. Git!" 

Peleg "got," but with reluctance. He kept looking 
back and shaking his head. Captain Ezra's face was 
very solemn. His forehead wrinkled and he pulled 
his mustache nervously. 

"By crimustee!" he muttered. "We've got to do 
somethin' quick. I know you don't take any stock in 
Peleg, but if that gale does come, we're knocked 
higher'n the main truck. She's loosenin' up so now 
that a tug might help us. I can git a little one from 
Vineyard Haven, skipper, engineer and all, for forty 
dollars a day." 

"But they won't work on spec." 

"No. I'm goin' to Wellmouth to see the bank 
folks. I'll tell 'em that if they ever hope to git back 
the rest of the money they lent on the Divin' Belle, 



they must risk enough to pay for that tug. I'm goln* 

"But you've been up all night. Let me go. You 
turn in." 

"Turn in be dumed I I'd sleep about as sound as 
an eel on a perch hock. I can turn in when I can't do 
anything else. Good-bye. Put in your spare time 
prayin' for me, will you ?" 

He went to Wellmouth, saw the people at the bank, 
and, as he said, "talked from his boots up." At 
twelve o'clock of the following day the little tug put 
in an appearance. She got a grip on the Freedom's 
bow and pulled with the tide. 

The expected gale did not come that day. But the 
next afternoon the sky was overcast and the sun dis- 
appeared behind angry clouds. It was blowing fresh 
when Bradley, worn out, went to his berth at nine 
o'clock. He had fought against going at all, but Cap- 
tain Titcomb said, "Put in an hour or two anyway. 
I'll call you if you're wanted." 

He called him before the second hour was up. 
"Come on deck, Brad," he cried, excitedly. "That 
sou'easter's on the road and it's backin' up the biggest 
tide ever I saw. 'Tain't high water till two, but she's 
pretty nigh as high as usual now." 

The junior partner hurried on deck. The wind 
was sinpng in the rig^'ng and the waves were rushing 
past the barge, slapping furiously at her as they 
passed. The night was a dead black and the surf on 
the ocean side of the Point bocnned like heavy artil- 



"IVe sent ashore for the day shift," said the Cap- 
tain. "We've got to malce our fight now. Looks as 
if 'twas out last chance, and a mighty slim one." 

The dories brought the tired men from the beach. 
They had worked hard all day, but they were ready 
to work still harder now. They realized that, one 
way or another, this was the end of the' big job. 

The little tug, bouncing up and down on the wares, 
was throwing her whole weight on the tow line. Alvin 
Bearse stood by the donkey engine, ready to take in 
every inch of the cable. ,The partners were in the 
bow. The buckets were Hying fcom the hold. 

"She gained a heap last tide," murmured the Cap- 
tain. "This extry high water and the waves ought to 
help her like fun. But I'm 'frald 'twon't be enough, 
and to-morrer the sou'castcr'll land with both feet." 

Waiting was the hardest thing. A half hour seem- 
ed longer than an ordinary day. The wind gained in 
force, little by little. The tide crept up the barge's 
side. At one o'clock it was far higher than it had 
ever reached before, and so powerful was its rush 
that the huge hull quivered in its grasp. The water, 
seen by the lantern's light, was the color of chocolate, 
streaked and marbled with lines and eddies of foam. 

Half-past one. The Captain put his watch in his 
pocket and wiped his forehead. 

"I know how it feels when you're waitin' to be 
hung," he observed. "Thirty minutes for the firm to 
live, Brad; then " 

A mighty blow from a wave, a tremble, and then a 
roll. The lanterns in the rigging spun around in cir- 



des. The men on the deck and below fell in heaps. 
The Freedom lifted, straightened, and began to rock 
in her "cradle." The cables sagged into loops. Their 
silent partner, the Tide, had come to the firm's rescue. 

Bradley got upon his feet. "Haul tautl" he 
screamed. Before the order was given Bearse was 
back at his engine. The windlass shrieked. 

Captain Titcomb roared through his speaking 
trumpet. The towboat shot forward, then back, her 
screw threshing the water. The little You and I 
bobbed beside her; she was pulling, too. 

And then, a long scraping, breathless interval. A 
halt, a shock, and, pushing a wall of sand before her, 
the Freedom plunged into deep water. 

There was no cheering. A subdued murmur, like 
ik sigh, came from the crowd on her deck. Men drew 
sooty arms across wet foreheads and looked at each 
other without speaking. She was off the shoal, but 
far from being out of danger yet. She must be got 
over into the deep hole behind the Point, where she 
could safely ride out the coming gale. And to get 
her into this haven there was only the litde tug to 
depend upon. Could the tiny craft do it in that wind 
and sea? If not, then the barge would almost surely 
drag her anchors, would strike again, and then — ^well, 
then all the work, and the triumph so nearly won, 
would count for nothing. 

They brought her up to her anchors, out in the 
middle of the channel. There they waited for the 
tide to turn. The silence was heart-breaking. Only 
now and then did anyone speak. In clusters by the 



rail they stared at the big waves and the foam-streaks 
gliding by. At last Captain Titcomb snapped his 
watcbcase shut, and shouted through his trumpet. 
The towboat puffed into position. The anchors were 
lifted from the bottom. The time for the final test 
had come. 

Then the little tug showed what she was made of. 
Coughing, panting like a buU-dog straining at a chain, 
she pulled at that hawser. And, slowly at first, but 
gaining headway as she moved in the dead water of 
the slack of the tide, the Freedom followed her 
through the channel around the edge of the shoal into 
the cove — and safety. At ten minutes to four that 
morning the last big anchor was sent down. 

"There 1" shouted Captain Titcomb. "She'll stay 
where she is now if it blows hard enough to frazzle 
out a handspike. Boys, the job's done. Knock off 1" 

They answered him with a cheer that woke the cat 
from his sleep beneath the stove at the lighthouse. 

The tug took them to the Point. They perched all 
over her, heedless of the cold and the flying spray. 
The men were wildly excited over the unexpected 
good luck. They cheered the partners again and again 
and gave three groans for the "quitters," meaning 
Mr. Claric and his friends. Pelcg Myrick was bear- 
ing his concertina to safe quarters In the shanty, and 
they insisted that he should play it. Peleg protested 
that it was too wet for music on board that tug, but 
they threatened to heave the "push-and-pull-pianner" 
overboard if he didn't play. 

"Play somethin' we can sing," ordered Bill Taylor. 



Peleg struck up a doleful dirge of the sea. It was 
loaded to the gunwale with wrecks and disasters. 

"Belay that!" cried Barney Small. "We don*t 
want no Come-all-ye's. That's the tune that soured 
the milk. Give us a hoe-down." 

The musician considered. Then he burst into the 
air that every fisherman knows : 

"The grub is in the galley and the rum is in the jug — 
Storm along, John I John, storm along ! 

The skipper's from Hyannis and he gives us bully 
Storm along, storm along, John I" 

"Chorus I" howled Barney, waving his cap. They 
joined in with a whoop : 

"Storm along, John I John, storm along I 
Ain't I glad my day's work's done I 

Storm along, John I John, storm along I 
Ain't I glad my day's work's done!" 

Bradley stood by the back door of the big shanty, 
looking out at the storm. The first sickly light of 
morning was streaking the dingy, tumbled sky. In- 
side the building the men were keeping up their cele- 
bration. No one had suggested turning in. 

Captain Tltcomb came around the comer. "There 
you are, hey I" he exclaimed, with a breath of relief. 
**BIamed if I didn't begin to be afraid you'd tumbled 
overboard. Well, son, we did it I by crimus, we did 



it ! thanks to the good Lord ior sendin' that whoopin* 
big tide. Titcomb and Nickerson ain't ready for the 
undertaker yit. Now you can go up to Orham and 
tell Gus Baker somethin' wuth while." 

Bradley shrugged his shoulders. Now that the 
strain was over, and they had won, the thoughts that 
he had put aside were coming back. He was realiz- 
ing that the firm's success didn't mean much to him. 
After all, what did he really care? 

"I guess Gus wouldn't be greatly interested," he 

The Captain seized htm by the shoulders and spun 
him around. "Look here, son!" he cried. "What 
fool idea have you got in your 'head ? What's the 
matter with you ? Wouldn't be interested! the girl 
that risked her life to haul you out of the drink!" 

Bradley shook his head. "I guess you forget that 
Hammond was in the drink, too," he said. 

Captain Titcomb smote 'his partner a blow in the 

"You crazy loon I" he shouted. "Is that what's 
ailin' you ? Do you s'pose she cares a hurrah in To- 
phet for that scamp ? Listen to me I I was closer'n 
anybody to Gus when she rowed acrost the harbor 
that night. Sam was right under the bow of her skiff. 
He hailed her. She saw him — looked right at him , 
But she never reached out a hand. Left him to drown, 
like the dumcd rat he Is, and went on after you. After 
you, d'you understand ? Does that look " 

"Stop I" Bradley's eyes were ablaze. "Is that 
true? Say that again I'* 



"True? Say it again? I'll sing it, or swear it on 
the Bible if you want me to. Why, you ought to git 

down and crawl to that girl. She's Hi ! where 

you goin' ?" 

There was no answer. Bradley was running at 

full speed for the beach. A few minutes more and he 

was in the You and I, heading across the bay, through 

^ the rising storm and in the dull morning light, bound 

for Orham. 

And behind him, from the shanty, floated the 

"Storm along, John! John, storm along I 
Ain*t I glad my day's work's done I 

Storm along, John I John, storm along I 
Ain't I ^d my day's work's DONE I" 

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GUS rose early that morning. The st<mn had 
awakened her. She pulled aside the window 
shade and peered out at the bare branches of 
the silverleaf beating and whipping in the wind, at 
the sheets of rain scudding across the little pond in the 
pasture, at the whitecaps in the inlet and harbor and 
at the angry sea outside. Down in the village the 
storm signals were flying from the pole on the cupola 
of "Cy" Warner's observatory. The southeast gale, 
foretold by the newspapers, had come. 

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She saw the lighthouse on Baker's Beach, a smalt 
shadowy dot in the distance. Beyond it was the bay, 
and miles beyond that lay Setuckit Point. Only the 
landward end of the long beach was visible through 
the smears of wind>driyen rain, but she gazed in that 
direction for minutes. 

Grandmother Baker was still asleep when Gus 
came downstairs. The girl went out into the kitchen, 
where Winficld, gray-muzzled and rheumatic, came, 
stretching and yawning, to meet her. She fixed the 
fire in the range, filled the teakettle, and, putting on 
her apron, began mixing the rye muffins for break- 
fast. Every now and then she left her work to 
go to the window. The storm was growing steadily 

The muffins were ready and she put them in the 
oven. She went to the sink and pumped the tin hand 
basin full of water; but before her fingers touched it 
she heard the yard gate shut with a bang. She 
thought that "Blount's boy" must be coming with the 
morning's milk, and stepped to the outside door to 
meet him, lifting the hook from the staple. 

The door opened and Bradley Nickerson came 

He wore no overcoat or oilskins, and his clothes 
were wet through. The rain poured from the visor 
of his cap, from his sleeves and the hem of his jacket. 
His face was dotted with drops, like beads of per- 
spiration. He did not wipe them away, but stood 
there, on Mrs. Baker's cherished ingrain carpet, dip- 
ping and looking at the girl before him. 



She did not seem to notice hts condition, nor appear 
astonished at his coming. Her lirst words were 
strange ones. 

"Oh I" she cried. "Is she lost?" 

"Lost?" he repeated. "Lost?" 

"Yes, yes! the barge? Has the gale wrecked 

Bradley seemed to be waking from a dream. "Oh, 
the barge !" he answered slowly. "The barge ? Oh I 
she's all right. We got her off." 

Gus gave a little sob of joy. Her eyes filled with 
tears. "I'm so glad!" she exclaimed. "I was 
afraid " 

He interrupted her by stepping forward and seiz- 
ing her hands. 

"Gusl" he begged. "Oh, Gus! do you love me?" 

She did not hesitate nor seem surprised. "Yes," 
she said simply, looking up at him. 

For an instant he returned the look. Then the re- 
action came. He swayed, sank to his knees, and cried 
like a child, hiding hi^ face in her apron. 

And like a child she soothed him, stroking his wet 
hair, and crying silently in sympathy. 

"Oh, my dear I" he pleaded, over and over again. 
"I've behaved like a foolish child. Can you forgive 

She smiled like the sun shining through the last 
drops of a summer shower. "It was my fault, more 
than yours," she said. "I was selfish and so silly, but 
I didn't know — I didn't know." 

"But you know now ? You're suref" 



The answer was not in words alone, and was en< 
tirely satisfactory. 

"Tell mc about the barge," she begged, a little 
later. "I'm so glad and so very proud that my boy — 
really my boy now — should have done such a thing. 
If you know how I have woriced with you in spirit, 
and how I have prayed that you might succeed. Tell 
me all about it, please." 

But he would not. "Never mind that, now I" he 
cried. "Let's talk of something worth while. Tell 
me how you rowed to the schooner the night of the 
fire. You brave girl !'* 

"Oh, Brad I" she answered, with a shudder. "It 
was dreadful 1 I could see you on the deck with the 
fire all around, and I heard people on the bridge talk- 
ing about the dynamite. I kept thinking, over and 
over, that I should never get there in time. Suppose 
I hadn't I Oh, suppose I hadn't I" 

"I wonder," he said, musingly, and with such wor- 
shipping admiration in his gaze that she blushed; "I 
wonder if I can ever do enough to make you happy — 
as happy as you deserve to be. I shall try, but how 
can I do enough?" 

"Hush, dear I" she whispered softly. "Do you^ 
think I'm not perfectly happy now?" 

He asked her to come with him to the big house. 
"I want them to know," he said. "They'll guess it 
quick enough when they see me, but I want them to 
know. Come." 

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Gus hesitated. She looked rather doubtful. "Re- 
member, Brad," she said, "Miss Prissy and her sister 
have never liked me." 

Bradley laughed, a b<^tsh, merry laugh. "That's 
all right," he replied. "Come and see." 

As she moved to the hodcs by the door to get her 
hood, he noticed her gown. 

"Why I" he exclaimed, "you're soaldng wet I I 
didn't think. I'm sorry." 

"Why, so I am 1 And, oh, dear, you're wet to the 
skin 1 You'll get cold. And I've covered you with 

Bradley looked down at his sodden boots and gar- 
ments. His coat was ornamented with white finger- 
prints. "I'm all right," he observed, referring to the 
wet. "I'm used to it. But I was a brute to let you 
get that way. Jiminy! look at that carpet I" 

The section of the carpet near the doormat looked 
like the flats at low tide. There were islands in the 
shape of muddy footmarks, and channeb of dirty 
water between. 

"Never mind the carpet," laughed Gus. "Come; 
I'm ready." 

They hurried through the rain to the door of the 
Allen dining-room. Bradley knocked and Miss Prissy 
answered it. 

"Why, Bradley I" she exclaimed. "Why, Brad- 

Miss Tempy came running from the kitchen. 

"Who " she began. Then, like her sister, she 

cried, "Why, Bradley!" 



"Aren't you going to ask us in?" queried the young 
man, calmly. "It's a little bit damp out here." 

Wonderingly the sisters stepped aside and Bradley 
and Gus entered the dining-room. The table was set, 
the fire was roaring in the big air-tight stove, the ship 
at the top of the tall clock in the comer rocked behind 
its tin waves, the boat load of passengers in the 
"Shore to Shore" picture had advanced no further on 
their journey — the room looked just the same as it 
did when a little boy in a man's dingy overcoat en- 
tered it on a winter's night years before. Nothing 
was changed, nothing looked older — except the sis- 
ters and the boy. 

"Has anything happened?" asked Miss Tempy, 
anxiously. Miss Prissy did not speak; she was look- 
ing at Gus. 

"Miss Prissy and Miss Tempy," Bradley began, 
"I've got good news for you. The Freedom came off 
the shoal last night; she's anchwed behind the Point, 
safe and sound." 

Miss Tempy cried out and clasped her hands. Her 
sister's face lit up, and she opened her lips; but she 
did not speak ; she CHily looked at Gus. 

"But that isn't the best news," Bradley went on, 
"Gus has promised to marry me." 

Again Miss Tempy cried out, but in a different 
tone. And still Miss Prissy was silent. Her sister 
came forward and tremblingly took her arm. 

"Aren't you glad?" asked Bradley. 

Miss Prissy's lip quivered. "Yes," she faltered, 
"I know we ought to be glad. She's a good girl, I'm 

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sure, and she saved you from drowning. But it's 
hard " 

She stopped and turned away. Miss Tempy put an 
arm about her waist. 

it was Gus herself who did precisely the right 
thing. She went straight up to Miss Prissy and toolc 
her hands. 

"Try to like me." she pleaded. "Please try, be- 
cause — because / like Brad very much, too." 

And then Miss Prissy threw her arms about the 
girl's neck and kissed her. "Bless you, dearie," she 
said. "I do like you and I am glad Bradley has chose 
so well. It's only because we've had him to ourselves 

so long that Ah, well I Tempy, we mustn't be 

selfish old women." 

Gus kissed them both, and all three cried a little. 
And with those tears the last scrap of resentment 
against the "dog girl" was washed away. 

From across the yard came the sound of a window 
being raised. Mrs. Baker was heard calling. "Gusty !" 
she screamed. "Gus-tee I" 

Gus ran to the door. "What Is it. Grandma?" she 

"Is that where you be? The muffins are burned 
black as a coal, and the kitchen's full of smoke. Cat's 
foot 1 I never saw such a girl I" 

Gus ran home laughing. Bradley turned to find 
Miss Tempy staring at him. "My sakes alive I" she 
cried wildly, rushing to the kitchen. "Prissy, the 
boy's wet soppin', soakin' through! Fetch me tht 
milk, and that pepper shaker, quick !'* 

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Bradley swallowed the last drop of the "pepper 
tea" — he was in a mood where nothing short of a 
gallon would have daunted him-~and hastened up- 
stairs to put on dry clothes. When he came down he 
went through the motions of eating breakfast, and 
answered, as best he could, the hundred and one ques- 
tions regarding the fioating of the Freedom that the 
"old maids" and Clara asked. He had been up prac- 
tically all night, but was too excited to think of sleeps 
and, remembering how unceremoniously he had de- 
serted Captain Titcomb, decided to go down to the 
post-office and telephone to the Point. 

The storm was in full blast by this time. The wind 
screamed through the tree tops and the thick ropes of 
rain shot downward with savage force. As he en- 
tered the post-office the postmaster called to him 
through the little window in the centre of the frame 
of mail boxes. 

"Hi, Brad I" he hailed. "Is that you? I jest sent 
a boy uptown after you. Cap'n Ez has been keepin' 
the telephone hot for the last ha'f hour. He wants 
to talk to you the worst way," 

Bradley was alarmed. Had anything happened to 
the Freedomf He entered the telephone closet, stood 
his drenched umbrella in a comer, and gave the four 
rings which made up the Setuckit Point call. 

The wire buzzed and hummed like an overturned 
bee hive. The receiver at his ear wailed and screeched 
like a banshee. At length a faint "Hellol" answered 
his call. 

"Hello!" he shouted. "That you, Cap'n Knowles? 

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Yes, this is Brad Nickerson. I want to talk with 

Cap'n Ez. Can you get him for me?" 

The life^aver laughed. There was more buzzing 
and bumming. Then Captain Titcomb's voice rose 
above the music of the storm. 

"Hello, partner I" it called. "That you? You 
don't say I Well, this is Titcomb. No, the /^r«(/o«i'j 
all serene; she'll ride it out as slick as a duck in a 
bucket. But there's a feller here wants to talk with 
you. Prick up your ears now I" 

Bradley heard his partner laugh. Then another 
voice began — a drawling, high-pitched voice. 

*'Is that you, Bradley?" it droned. "This is me 
talkin'. Do you hear?" 

"Met Who's me?" 

"Me, Peleg — Peleg Myrlck. Cap'n Ez wants to 
know what I'd better do with the dynamite I've got 
buried under my shanty? I'm scart to death of it." 

"The dynamite? What dynamite ?" 

"The dynamite I took off the Divin' Belle the day 
afore she was burnt. Cap'n Ez ordered me to take 
it all out, so I done it the next forenoon. What'll I do 
with it? I've been tryin' to tell you'n' the Cap'n 
about it, but you never give me no chance. Skeezicks 
is the divil to dig, and if he scratches that stuff up, 
why " 

"Stop!" Bradley shouted it. "Wait a minute 1 
Peleg, what are you talkin' about? Do you mean 
there was no dynamite aboard the Diving Belle when 
she burned?" 

"Ya-as. I took it all out that momin'. What'll " 

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Again Bradley shouted, "Stop I" He wanted to 
think. If there was no dynamite aboard the schooner, 
why — ^why then the insurance could be collected. 
If His heart sank again. 

"I'm afraid that won't do, Peleg," he called. 
"She certainly blew up. I heard her, and felt 
the shock under water. Everybody on the hill 
heard the explosion and saw It, too. No, Peleg. 
Much obliged, but I guess you must have left some 
of it." 

The wire whirred and sang. Then the drawling 
voice went on. It said : 

"Cap'n Ez wants to know if the explosion wan't 
pretty small for a dynamite one — now that you come 
to think of it. He says, what about the gasoline 
tanks ?" 

The gasoline tanks t The gasoline for the engine I 
It had been stowed In the bow of the schooner. 

The receiver fell from Bradley's hand. He stared 
at the calendar on the wall of the telephone booth. 

Thanksgiving came late that year, but it was a 
beautiful day when it did come. Clear and frosty, 
with the tingle of early winter in the breeze, and a 
thin skim of ice along the edges of the brooks and 
the ponds in the pasture. Not a vestige of haze on 
the horizon. The sea a deep rich blue, with the white 
sails scattered lightly over it like fallen rose petals. 
A salty tang of the ocean in the air, the savor of wide, 
clean distances and rolling billows. A day to set one's 
shoulders back and make him grateful to the God 

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who gives life and health. An ideal Thanksgiving 

Bradley, with an expression of serene contentment 
on his face, was leaning on the fence by the Allen 
barn, gazing out across the inlet and the harbor. Cap- 
tain Titcomh leaned beside him, smoking a cigar. He 
also looked like a thoroughly happy man. 

And the Captain had reason to be happy. The 
Freedom had been towed up to Boston and Cook and 
Son had forwarded a check for the amount of the 
contract, accompanying it with an enthusiastic letter 
of approval and congratulation. Obcd Nickcrson, 
after a thorough cross-questioning of Peleg Myrick 
and the partners — whose statements were substanti- 
ated by Barney Small, Bcarse and the rest — had writ- 
ten to Boston recommending the payment of the in- 
surance on the Diving Belle, The newspapers had 
given much space to the clearing of the Freedom 
under such adverse circumstances, and, from this ad- 
vertising, had followed the receipt of many communi- 
cations from skippers and ship-owners who had 
anchor-dragging or other wrecking work to be done. 

Also— and this was no small help to the Captain's 
happiness — he had made his peace with the "old 
maids." The burning of the schooner, Bradley's in- 
jury, and the fight for the firm's life that followed, 
had diverted the minds of the sisters from the shock 
caused by the disclosure of Captain Ezra's love affair. 
They had had time to think it over, and, while they 
agreed that the Captain was making a woeful mis- 
take in marrying a "young, thoughtless girl," still, 



as Miss Prissy said, "He's old enough to know his 
own mind, and 'tain't for us to try to change it, no 
matter how much we may pity him." 

Forgiving Clara was a much harder matter. Miss 
Tempy especially was inclined to blame the girl for 
"settin' a trap for the Cap'n — he bein' such an honest, 
unsuspectin' man — and leadin' him on." But they 
forgave her finally, thanks to the influence of Bradley 
and Gus. And so Captain Titcomb had been invited 
to the Thanksgiving dinner, and the "old maids" and 
Grandmother Baker and Gus and Clara were now at 
work in the kitchen preparing the feast. 

"Cap'n," observed Bradley, "I'm afraid our get- 
ting the Freedom clear has put the Jeremiah Club out 
of business. They won't have anything to talk 

The Captain took his cigar from his lips and blew 
a cloud of smoke. "Oh, I've fixed that all right I" he 
replied. "They're puttin' in their time findln' fault 
with Clara for marryin' a man twice as old as she is. 
Brad," he added, "have you made up your mind yit 
about that Cook offer ?" 

The letter from Cook and Son had contained some- 
thing beside the check and the congratulaticwis. The 
firm was the largest owner In a copper mining prop- 
erty on the shores of Lake Superior. This property 
was to be developed in the near future. A harbor was 
to be dredged and built, a Seet of tugs and barges was 
to be employed. Mr. Cook had offered to put Cap- 
tain Titcomb and Bradley in command of this fleet, 
and the salaries entailed were by no means small. 

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Bradley took from his pocket the envelope zaritaxOf 
ing the offer. He turned it slowly about in his hands. 

"Cap'n Ez," he said, "IVe made up my mind, sub- 
ject, of course, to your approval. The offer is a good 
one, the wages are as high as our earnings in the 
wrecking business are likely to be for some years. 
And they're sure." 

His partner lotted <Usappointed, but he nodded 
and said, "Yes, that's so." 

"But," went on Bradley, "in spite of that I d<m't 
like the idea of quitting. So — if you agree with me — r 
I say let's stick it out down here." 

The Captain thumped the fence-rail. "Good 
enough I" he exclaimed. "That's what / say. We're 
our own bosses, the outlodc's better'n we had a reason 
to expect at the end of our fust season, and I b'lieve 
we can build up a good trade. We've made a fair 
profit on the Freedom, spite of the heavy expense, and 
we can have a new vessel built and still have cash 
enough on band to put some good-sized jobs through. 
I'm with you I We'll stick it out. 

"To tell the truth," he continued, "X don't much 
take to the idea of gittin' back under 'owners' orders' 
ag'in. That is to say, I don't wake up nights and cry 
for it. The monkey does the dancin', but it's the 
organ man on t'other end of the string that gits the 
money. For a feller built on my lines it's too fasci- 
natin' to be safe, and What on airth ?" 

He pointed to the road. Along the sidewalk came 
shambling a tall, red-whiskered figure, with the re- 
mains of what had once been a fur cap on its head, 



and a dirty worsted tippet knotted about its neck. 
Bradley looked, and all at once he was back in a 
rocking, stuffy stagecoach, with the cold night air 
blowing about his feet and the snow pelting against 
the windows. He could even smell the musty straw 
on the coach floor. 

"Do you see it, too?" asked Captain Titcomb, anx- 
iously. " 'Cause if you dwi't, I'm goin' to turn Speri- 
tu'iist right off. Sol! Hey, Sol!" 

The figure stopped and looked up and down the 
road. Upon a repetition of the Captain's hail it 
turned its eyes in the right direction. 

"Hi, there !" it bellowed. 

"Foolish Sol Newcombl" exclaimed the Captain. 
"Blessed if it ain't! Thought he must be dead by 
this time. Come on, Brad I" 

They went down to the gate and the figure came to 
meet them. 

"For the land sakes, Sol!" said Captain Titcomb, 
"where'd you light from?" 

Mr. Newcomb looked sadly at the sky. "I've been 
livin' over to East Wellmouth," he answered in a 
drawl that made Peleg's seem like rapid transit. "But 
I moved back ag'in to where I used to be. 'Twas too 
lively over there. Too much goin' on." 

Captain Titcomb nodded appreciatively. "Yes," 
he agreed. "I sh'd think 'twould be. Must be many 
as thirty-two folks over to East Wellmouth — not 
countin' dogs." 

"Ya-as," replied Sol, without enthusiasm. Then 
he added, "I'm c'lectin' my road taxes." 

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"You are, hey? Road taxes?" 

*'Ya-as. Bill Hinckley he says to me, he says, *So!, 
you walk so much I should think you'd c'lect road 
taxes.' So I'm a-doin* of it." 

"Good idea I About what's the rate?" 

"Oh, I dunnol 'Bout ten cents, maybe." 

The Captain contributed a quarter, so did Bradley. 
The tax collector looked at the coins doubtfully. 

"I ain't got no change," he said. 

"Oh, well, that's all right. I'm behind, anyway- 
Ain't paid my road taxes for — let me see — pretty 
nigh fifty years. And Brad, he's payin' In advance." 

Sol pocketed the money, and turned to go. He had 
taken but a few steps, however, when he stopped. 
"Hi, there 1" he yelled after them. "Got any ter- 

"Blessed if riiat ain't like renewin' your youth," 
observed the Captain, as they re-entered the yard. 
"Takes me back to the night I first saw you. Brad. 
Hum I well, I swan I" 

They were both silent for a moment. Then Cap- 
tain Titcomb said : 

"Brad, if I hadn't tried to dive through the 
Thomas Doane's plankin', and you hadn't had that 
little argument with friend Burke, where do you cal'-| 
late you and me'd be now ?" 

The Junior partner smiled. "On board some coaster 
or other, I suppose," he answered. 

"Yes, I guess likely we would. I'd be runnin' that 
big four-master for Williams Brothers, and you'd be 
fust mate prob'Iy. Sorry?" 



"Not a bit." 

"Me neither. If I'd stuck to the old line, I'd had 
B conscience by this time that I'd have been scared to 
slcef in the same bunk with. That is, if I'd lasted so 
long without bein' jailed. I've been doin' consider'ble 
thinkin' for the last few months, even if I ain't said 
much. Brad, remember that debate you and me had 
as to whether honesty was the best policy or not?" 

"Yes, I remember it." 

"Well, I've changed my mind some sence then. 
Seein* you plow right ahead, not knucklin' to anybody, 
but doin' what was right 'cause you thought 'twas 
right, and havin' the respect of all hands the way you 
have, has kind of set me to overhaulin' my own kit. I 
ain't ready yit to say that honesty's the best policy, 
fur's gittin' rich goes, but I will say this : It's mighty 
nice to be able to pass a lookin' glass without feelin' 
like holdin' on to your watch and hollerin' for the con- 
stable. And I'll say more'n that : Brad, for what you 
did that night aboard the Thomas Doane, and for 
the sermon next day that led up to my telHn' Williams 
Brothers to set sail to where it's everlastin' summer — 

Bradley looked at his friend. Both men were smiU 
ing, but their eyes were serious enough. 

"You're welcome," said the junior partner, simply. 

A bell jingled loudly at the kitchen door. 

"Din-ner!" called Miss Prissy, shrilly. 

They walked around the comer of the bam. There 
they were in the doorway, the "old maids" and Gus. 
All three with smiles on their faces — the dearest faces 



in the world, so Bndley thought. And over their 
shoulders beamed Grandmother Baker and Clara. 

"Hurry up I" cried Miss Prissy, waving the bell. 
"Turkey's on the table and pttin' cold." 

"What have you been talkin' about all this time?" 
asked Miss Tempy. 

' The Captain answered. "Oh I" he said, "bein* as 
it's Thanksgivin', Brad and me have been holdin' a 
special service — kind of a grace afore meat. Now, 
. Tempy, live up to your name and go easy on the pep- 
per tea. It biteth like a sarpent — that's no joke — 
and stingeth " 

"Hum I" interrupted Miss Tempy serenely; "some 
folks take their pepper in tea, and Mhers seem to like 
to git it by the wholesale out of the box in the closet." 

At this most unexpected retort everybody laughed, 
and Captain loudest of all. 

"Hold on there! hold on I" he protested; "I'll hol- 
ler, ' 'Nough I' Tempy, don't hit a feller when he's 

"If you don't march right into that dinln'-room," 
observed Miss Prissy, "you won't git any dinnei'— 
pepper tea or anything else." 

They went in, laughing. (b 

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AdrontnTCi of Jiminie Dale, The. B]r Frank L. Packard. 

Adventuree of Sherlock Hohnet. By A. Conan Doyle. 

Affinitiee, ind Other Stories. By Mary Roberts Rioehart 

After Hotu^ The. By Mary Roberte Rinehart 

Againat the Winds. By Kate Jordan. 

Ailaa Paige. By Robert W. Chambers. 

Also Kan. By Mrs. Baillic Reynolds. 

Amateur Gendenum, ThcL By jeffery FamoL 

Andfnon Crow. Detectiva. By George Barr MoCutcheoo. 

Anna, the AdTentnreas. By E. Pkillips Oppenheim. 

Ame^ House of Dreams. By L. M. Montgomery. 

Aoyboify But Anne. By Carolyn Wells. 

An All Hen Alike, and The Lost Titian. By Arthur Stringer. 

Around Old Chester. By Margaret Deland. 

Ashton-Kirk, CriminologUt. By John T. Mclntyre. 

Ashton-Kirk, Investigstor. By John T. Mclntyre. 

Ashton-Klrk, Secret Agent, By John T. Mclntyre, 

Aahton-Klrk, Special Detective. By John T. Mclntyre. 

Adialie. By Robert W. Chambers. 

At the Her<9 of Tiberius. By Angusta Evans Wilson. 

Auction Block, The. By Rex Beach. 

Aunt Jane of Kentucky. By Eliza C. Hall. 

Awakening of Helena Richie. By Margaret DeUnd. 

Bab: a Sob-Deb. By Mary Roberta Rinehart 

BambL By Marjorie Benton Cooke. 

Baibulana. By Robert W. Oamfoertf. 

Bar 20. By Qarence E. Mulford. 

Bar 20 Dasn*. By Clarence E. Mulford. 

Barrier The. By Rex Beach. 

Bare of Iron, The. By Etbel M. Dell. 

Beasta of Tanan, The. By Edgar Rice Burroughs. 

BeAoidng Roads. By Jeanne Judaon. 

Belon^ng. By Olive Wadstey. 

Beloved Traitor, The. By Prank L. Packard. 

Beloved Vagabond, The. By Wm. J. Locke. 

Beltane die Smiifa. By Jeffery Famol. 

Betrnal, The. By E. Phillips Oppenheim. 

Benhi. (111. Ed.) By Augusta J. Evans. 

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BvroBd Hie Fiofltlcr. By RzsdxU Ptniili. 

Big TiadMr. By Bertnnd W. Sinclair. 

B1m£ Bartfenqr's Treanre. Bj JeStrj FaraoL 

Black la WfaiW. By George Barr MtCutcheoa. 

BhckibMpt BUcUieepL By Hcredith NicbotioiL 

Blind Han*» ^ai. Thai By Wtn. Mac JUrg and Edwio 

BoatdwaUt, The. Br Margaret Wddemer. 
Bob Kamptan 61 Placer. 67 Randall Parriih, 
Bob^ Sod of Battle. Br Alfred OliTant 
Box WIA BnA«B Seala, The; B7 E. PfalRIpa OppenheiiB. 
Biqr "Wk Wlngi, The. By Berta Rack. 
BnodM of the Basfateeni, By Harold BindloM. 
Bridge of Kiasea, The. By Berta Ruck. 
Broad Hi^majr, The. By Jeffery Paraol 
Broadway Bab. By Johnston McCnlley. 
Brown Stody, tht. By Grace S. Richmond. 
BrOM ol^ Ae Circle A. By Harold Titai. 
Poccaneer F«mer, The. By Harold Bindtoi). 
Bnek Pitera, Sancbraail By Clarence E. MtUforl 
BniUlecm The. By Ellen Glasgow. 
Borineaa oi IJf«» The. By Robert W. CBambcra. 

Cab of the Seeing Hoxie. The. By John Reed Scotb 

Cabbtge and ranga. By O. Henry. 

CaUn Percr. By B. U. Bower. 

Callhw of Dan Matdiewa, The By Harold Bell Wri^t 

Cape Cod Storiee. By Joseph C. Lincoln. 

Cnp^ Abe; Storekeeper. By Tamel 'A. Cooper. 

Cv*n Dan'e Dan^ter. By foaeph C. Lincoln, 

Cv*D Bri. By JoietA C. Liacoln. 

Cv^ Jonah** Fettnna. By Jaraea 'A. Cooper. 

C^i WaiTCn^ Waidt. By Joeeph C Lincoln. 

Chlneaa Labd. lUe; By J. Prank Darfs. 

Cbfiatlne of ihe 7otM« HearL By Loalae Brehitenljadi ClB^. 

Cinderella Jane. By Uarjorie B. Cooke. 

Onema Unrder. The, By E. Phillipa Oppenhelm. 

City of Haika, The. By George Barr McCutcheoa. 

CleA o( Scotland Yard. By T. W. Hanshew. 

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Gleek, The Han of Fort; Faces. By Thomas W. Hanshcw. 

Clerk's Government Caaea. By Thomas W. Hanehew. 

capped Winga. By Rupert Hnghes. 

Clutch of Circnmatance^ The. By Marjorie Beaton Coolce. 

Coast of Advcntm^ The. By Harold Biadloss. 

Come-Back, The. By Carolyn Wells. 

Coming of Casaidy, The, By Clarence £. Mulford. 

Coming of the Law, The. By Charles A. Seltzer. 

Comrades of Peril. By Randall Parrish. 

Conquest of Canaan, The. By Booth Tarkingtoa. 

Conspirators, The. By Robert W. Chambers, 

Contraband. By Randall Parrish. 

Cottage of Delight, The. By Will N. Harben. 

Court of Inquiry, A. By Grace S. Richmond. 

Cricket, The. By Marjorie Benton Cooke. 

Crimson Gardenia, The, and Other Tales of Adrentore. By 

Rex Beach. 
Crimson Tide, The. By R<^ert W. Chambers. 
Cross Currents. By Author of "PoUyanna," 
Cross Pull, The. By Hal. G. EvartJ. 
Cry in the Wademesa, A. By Mary E. Waller. 
Cry of Youth, A. By Cynthia Lombardi. 
Cup of Fury, The. By Rupert Hughes, 
Cinioiu Quest, The. By E. Phillips Oppenheim. 

Danger and Olher Stories. By A. Conan Doyle- 
Dark Hollow The. By Anna Katharine Green. 
Dark Star, The. By Robert W. Chambers. 
Daughter Pays, The. By Mrs. Baillie Reynolds. 
Day of Days, The, By Louis Joseph Vance. 
Depot Master, Tb^ By Joseph C. Lincoln. 
Destroyfaig Angel, The, By Louis Joseph Vanee. 
. Devil's Own, The. By Randall Parrish. 
Devil's Paw, The. By E. Phillips Oppenheim. 
Disturbti^ Charm, The. By Berta Ruck. 
Door <a Drsad. The, By Arthur Stringer. 
Dope. By Sax Rohmer. 

Double Traitor, The. By E. Phillips Oppenheim. 
Duds. By Henry C. Rowland. 

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r Pocketi, By Rapert Hnghes. 

te Dale Plraeer. By John Fox, Jr. 
Eveirmui'a Land. By C. N. & A. M. Willianuon. 
BxtncMliic Obadiah. By Joseph C Lincoln. 
ByM ol the BUnd, The; By Arthur Somers Roche. 
Byes of die World, The; By Harold BeU Wright 

Vibfrnx and Hit Pride. By Marie Van Vorat. 

FeHx ODay. By F. Hopkinson Smith. 

54-10 or FIi^L By Emerson Hough. 

Fitting Chanc^Thc. By Robert W. Charobera. 

Pi^dng Fool, The. By Dane Coolidge. 

I^htbg Shei^ierdeaa, The. By Caroline Lockhgrt. 

Finander, The. By Theodore Breiser. 

Find At Wonun, By Arthur Somers Roche. 

Firat Sir Percy, The; By The Baroness Oiaj, 

Flame. The. By OHre Wadsley. 

For Better, for Wone. By W. B. MaxwelL 

Forbidden Trail, Tlw. By Honori Willsle. 

Forfeit, The. By Ridrwell Cullnm. 

FortieOi Door. Tbei By Uary Hastings Bradler. 

Four HOlIoiL Tlie. By O. Henry. 

From Mow On. By Frank L. Packard. 

For Brfngen, The. By Hulbert Footner, 

Pnrtiier Advcnturea of Jfanmie Dale. By Frank II Ridiird. 

Ge¥ Yoitr Man. By Ethel and James Borrance. 

GM in the Hiiror, The. By Elizabeth Jordan. 

CHrJ of O. K VaUey, The. By Robert Watson. 

Girl of dw Bhte Ridge, A. By Payne Erskine. 

Girl from Keller's, TM, By Harold Bindloss. 

Girl Philtepa, The. By Robert W. Chambers. 

Oiiis at His BHIet Th& By Berta Ruck. 

Gloiy Sidea the Range. By Ethel and James Borruice. 

Glond Hand, The; By Burton E. Sterenaon. 

God's Cotratnr and die Woman. By J ~' 

God's Good Han. By Uarie Corelli. 

GcAig Some. By Rex Beach. 

Gold <Hri, The. By James B. Hendryi. 

Golden Scorpioiu The; By Sax Rohmer. 

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Golden supper. The. Bjr Anna Katharine Green. 

Golden Woman, The. By Ridgwell CuUiun. 

Good Reference*. By E. J. Rath. 

Gorgeous Giri, The. By Nalbro Bartley. 

Gray Angels, The. By Nalbro Bartley. 

Great Iinpenonation, The. By £. Phillips Oppenheim. 

Greater Love Hath No Man. By Frank L. Packard. 

Green Byes of Bast, The. By Sax Rohmer. 

Gnyfrian Bobby. By Eleanor Atkinson. 

Gun Bnnd. The. By James B. Hendryx. 

Hand of Pu-Hanchn, The. By Sax Rcrfimer. 
Happy Home. By Baraness Von Hutten. 
Harbor Road, The^ By Sara Ware Bassett 
Havoc By £. Phillips Oppenheim. 
Heart of the Deaert, The, By Honori Willsle. 
Heut of &e HUla, The. By John Pox, Jr. 
Heart of tJie Snnset. By Rex Beacb. 
Heart of Thnnder Monntain. The. By Edfrid A. Bingham. 
Heart of Unaga, The. By Ridgwell Collum. 
Hidden Children, The. By Robert W. Chambers. 
Hidden Trails. By William Patterson White. 
HM^flyera, The. By Clarence B. Kelland. 
HOfanan, The. By £. Phillips Oppenheim. 
HOla of Refuge, The. By Will N. Harben. 
I His Laat Bow. By A. Conan Doyle. 
His OfiSdal Floneee. By Berta Ruck. 
Honor of the Big Snom. By James Oliver Carwood. 
Hopalong CaBsidy. By Clarence E. Mulford. 
Hound from the North, The. By Ridgwell Cullum. 
House of the Whispering Pines, Th«. By Anna Katharine 

Hugh Wynne, Free Quaker. By S. Weir Mitchell, M.D. 
Hiunoresque. By Fannie Hurst. 

I Conqnered. By Harold Titus. 
nhistrloBs Prince, The. By E. Phillips Oppenheim. 
In Anodier Ghi's Shoes. By Berta Ruck. 
Indifference of Juliet, The. By Grace 5. Richmond. 
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Infelice. Bjr AugTista Evans Wilson. 

Initials Only. By Anna Katharine Green. 

Inner Law. The. By Will N. Harben. 

Innocent By Marie Corelli. 

In Red and Cold. By Samuel Merwin. 

Insidiooa Dr. Fo-Hanchn, The. By Sax Rohmer, 

In the Brooding Wild. By Ridswell CuUuin. 

Intrigoen, The. By William Le Qaeiuc. 

IronFurrow, The. By George C. Shedd. 

Iron Tnil, The. By Rex Beach. 

Iron Woman, The. By Margaret Pcdand. 

Iiluid of smpiise. By Cynis Townsend Brady. 
I Spy. By NataHe Sumner Linclon. 
It Pay* to Smile By Nina Wilcox Pntnam. 
iSre Harried Matjerie. By Margaret Widdemer. 

Jets of die L«C7 A. By B. M. Bower. 

Jeanne of tfi* lurshea;. By E. Phillips Oppenhdn. 

Jemde Gerfiatdt. By Theodore Dreiser. 

Jofatuty Nelson. By Clarence E. Mulford. 

Jadgment HoOBlb Tb». By Gilbert Parker, 

Keeper of ifae Door, Tlie. By Ethel M. DelL 

Keldi of tiie Border. By Randall Parrisb. 

Kent Knoiries: QtnimtK. By Joseph C. IJncolo. 

Kingdom of the Blind, The. By E. Phillips Oppenkein. 

King Spnce. By Mohnan Day. 

Knave of Diamondi. The. By Ethel M. DelL 

U Chiatt VBnt Hyrtery. Tho. By S. Carleton. 
Lady T>oc, The. By Caroline I.ockhart. 
.Uno-Oirn ton Story. A. By Berta Rnclc. 
I<aiid of Strong Uen, The. By A. M. ChlshotnL 
LaaS Straw, T1i«. By Harold Titns. 
Xatt TralLTbei. By Zane Grey. 
LangUng BIB Hyde. By Rex Bracti. 
Langlilnc Girl, The. By Rtibert W. Cbamhenf. 
Law Brealcera, The By Rtdgwell Cullnni. 
Law of tfatt Qm^ The, By RjdgwclI'Cullum. 

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